“Painted Skin” is Weiya’s operatic adaptation of a classic Chinese short story and combines a Western compositional approach with stylistic elements of Peking Opera to tell the supernatural horror story in a uniquely modern way. The China Now Music Festival’s premiere production of Hao’s opera sets the tale at a present-day American university, furthering exploring the cross-cultural approach suggested by the composer’s stylistic choices.
The story revolves around a trio of characters: the scholar Wang (mezzo-soprano Kristin Gornstein), his wife Chen (coloratura soprano Holly Flack), and the unnamed, beguiling demon that comes between them (Kunqu opera singer Qian Yi). The libretto is by Wang Yuanfei, and the production is directed by Michael Hofman with the music conducted by Jindong Cai.
“Painted Skin” will be presented by the US-China Institute of the Bard College Conservatory of Music at Hudson Hall in Hudson on October 13 at 7pm. Tickets are $24 and $45 (students with ID are $10). For more information, visit the Hudson Hall website.