Camber Opera
«Rising From the Dead»

Camber Opera
«Rising From the Dead»

Thursday, 23 May 2024
Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall


The program:

Deqing WEN (*1958)
Camber Opera «Rising From the Dead» (Russian Premiere, 2023)

Act I. Rising from the Dead
Scene 1: Zhuang Zhou Prays
Scene 2: Resurrection of the Skull
Scene 3: The Sergeant Helps Out

Act II. Dead Again
Scene 1: The Humilation of the Man
Scene 2: Return of Zhuang Zhou
Scene 3: The Man Dead Again

Russian Premiere of the Chinese chamber opera “Rising From the Dead” by composer Deqing Wen, adapted from writer Lu Xun’s work “Resurrection of the Skeleton”, revives a Chinese classic on the cycle of life and tells the story of the philosopher Zhuangzi, who is invited to visit the ruler of Chu State and has been on the road for many days.

Chamber opera production resurrects a Chinese classic on the cycle of life by renowned writer Lu Xun, known for his versatility as a short story writer, essayist, literary critic and editor.

Based on the rewritings of ancient myths Gushi Xinbian, or Old Tales Retold, it tells the story of the philosopher Zhuangzi of the Warring States period (475-221 BC), who is invited to visit the ruler of Chu State and has been on the road for many days. On his way he discovers a skull, and decides to bring it back to life. When he calls upon the Master of Fate, ghosts warn him of the consequences, but Zhuangzi insists. The resurrected skeleton comes back to life as a naked peasant, who is lost and confused by the questions asked by Zhuangzi, such as where he came from and which year he lived in. All the peasant wants is clothes to cover his nakedness and money to return home.
The time and space of the original work has been extended into the modern era in the opera, with the second act, which is titled “Return as a Skeleton”, added to the original plot. While Zhuangzi’s dream of resurrecting the skeleton is “fulfilled” in Lu Xun’s version, in this opera the resurrected peasant becomes a skeleton again.



Russian-Chinese Symphonic Orchestra
Principal conductors and artistic directors:
Victoria dobrovolskaya (Russia)
Zheng Tongruo (China)

Guan Chengyuan, tenor – philosopher Zhuangzi
Sun Haoxuan, tenor – philosopher Zhuangzi
Li Xiaolong, tenor – philosopher Zhuangzi
Tan Xiao, baritone – resurrected man
Wang Enze, tenor – police sergeant
Katerina Kovanji, mezzo-soprano – Symin, clairvoyant, medium
Fu Junjian, bass – police commissioner

Spirits and Policemen:
Liu Qian, soprano
Marina Vorotova, soprano
Olesya Andreeva, soprano
Zhang Yanli, mezzo-soprano
Li Xingrun, tenor
Ji Chaoyuan, bass

Responsible Concertmaster: Ekaterina Venchikova
Concertmasters: Zha Liangyu and Regina Musaeva

Deqing Wen was born in a small village in Southern China, Wen studied composition in China, Switzerland and France, with Guo Zu-Rong, Shi Wan-Chun, Luo Zhong-Rong, Jean Balissat and Gilbert Amy. He was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York City while 2005 to 2006. At present, as a professor he is teaching “analysis and performance of contemporary music” in Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His music is a mixture of traditional Chinese music and complex western techniques. These are combined with his own creative inspiration.

Wen is deeply influenced by Chinese culture, particularly philosophy, painting and calligraphy. He adapts a new system to express his message in each piece. He also tries to use everyday objects such as cans, bottles, glasses, wind machines, tap water and paper.

His music has been performed around the world. He has been honoured with concerts dedicated to his compositions in China, France, Denmark, Switzerland and the United States. Deqing Wen’s CD is published by Stradivarius (Italy) and Musiques Grammont Portrait of Switzerland. He has been awarded numerous prizes (among others, the Prix Cultura 1999 of the Foundation Kiwanis and the 2001 Composer Prize of the Foundation Leenaards of Switzerland). His commissions include Pro Helvetia, the Festival Archipel, the Association des Amis de la Musique , the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik for Arditti String Quartet, Radio-Espace 2 for the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Taipei Chinese traditional orchestra of Taiwan. His opera “Le Pari” (The Wager) has been performed in the Amadeus Festival of Geneva (Switzerland), in the Great Theatre of Shanghai (China) and the Beijing International Festival in 2003 and 2004.

Since 1991 Wen has been living in Geneva. He is a member of the Association Suisse des Musiciens and the Societé Suisse pour les Droits des Auteurs d’Oeuvres Musicales. Over these past few years, he has returned to China several times to take part in musical exchanges between China, Switzerland and France.

Российская премьера китайской камерной оперы композитора Вэня Дечина «Восстание из мертвых», основанная на произведении писателя Лу Синя «Воскресение скелета», возрождает китайскую классику о цикле жизни и рассказывает историю многодневного странствия философа Чжуан-цзы, приглашенного в гости к правителю государства Чу.

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