The Return of Semele – US Premiere 2015

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

The COC’s presentation of Semele at BAM is co-produced by the KT Wong Foundation and Theatre Royal de La Monnaie, and is directed by Zhang with distinguished British conductor and Baroque opera expert Christopher Moulds leading the critically acclaimed COC Orchestra and COC Chorus. Internationally renowned Canadian singer Jane Archibald reprises the role of Semele, which she sang with the COC in 2012, for this production’s U.S. premiere. Archibald has dazzled audiences and critics alike with her vocal dexterity and dramatic presence.

Her 2012 performance was met with overwhelming praise with the Toronto Star proclaiming: “Jane Archibald is alone worth the price of a ticket. She is spectacular in the title role.”

Zhang Huan’s daring East-meets-West production blends the Greek myth of Semele with the contemporary true story of an ill-fated Chinese love triangle – all set within the walls of an actual 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple, which weighs 17 tons and is transformed into an altar, a palace, a crematory, and heaven.

With appearances by debaucherous Buddhist monks, a giant inflatable puppet and an overtly aroused donkey, Zhang layers cultural taboos and ribald humour with classical compositions, creating a bold and contemporary fable. Semele is scheduled at the Howard Gilman Opera House (30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn, NY) for four performances only – March 4, 6, 8 and 10, 2015.

New York Times Review:

Tickets can be purchased online here:

For more information about the KTWong Foundation and Zhang Huan’s previous success with Semele in Shanghai see here:

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