"BOOK OF MOUNTAINS AND SEAS"
Composer and librettist: Huang Ruo
Director and production design: Basil Twist
Music director: Paul Hillier
Lighting design: Poe Saegusa
Featuring Ars Nova Copenhagen
Street and Davis Performance Hall, Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre
Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech
Co-commissioned by the Moss Arts Center
Recommended for ages 14 and up
A daring new music theatre work by composer Huang Ruo and puppeteer, designer, and director Basil Twist, Book of Mountains and Seas is a modern take on ancient Chinese creation myths that are relevant to our current climate change struggle, featuring the chorus of Ars Nova Copenhagen alongside massive puppets and striking lanterns. The work is sung in Mandarin with English supertitles.
Book of Mountains and Seas is inspired by the ancient Chinese compilation of early myths of the same title, which was first transcribed in 4th-century B.C. Over the years, these mythological stories have become part of Chinese written and oral history, shifted and reshaped to match contemporary times.
Book of Mountains and Seas is a 21st-century adaptation and expansion of four of these tales. Its lyrics are based on the original Chinese texts from the book, with additional newly created words to complete the soundscape and symbolic drama. As the four tales are ancient, they are abstract and timeless. The work contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the planet.