Select Press Notices of Dream at Asia premiere in Hong Kong, March 2017

1. Dream of the Red Chamber is an ambitious work that deserves to be seen, heard, thought about and discussed,  Peter Gordon @ HKELD, in reviewing all shows in English in Hong Kong. HKELD is a website dedicated to promoting performing arts to the English speaking community in Hong Kong.

2. From International Association of Theatre Critics (Hong Kong) IATC by Fang Bo Fang presents, in Chinese, an extensive discussion on in the cultural significance of this production, applauded Bright for infusing a Chinese feel to the entire opera; particularly the clarinet solo of the Chinese folk song Zi Zhu Diao, the Purple Bamboo Tune,in the wedding scene. He also understood the goal of the opera was to bring a beloved Chinese classic novel to an American audience who had no previous knowledge of this work, and defended the choice of words in the libretto that may not have expressed all the complex feelings of the original. He also cited examples in Kunju opera that frequently uses common expressions in order to draw in a wide audience. He has just made the best case for what we in the U.S. called ‘accessibility’, currently the buzz work for new music. He ended by comparing our original idea of commissioning a new opera to the idea of borrowing a small boat to go to sea and ending with coming home in an ocean liner.

3. ‘Dream of the Red Chamber at the 2017 Hone Kong Arts Festival’ by Whit Emerson Theatre Times is a global portal for theatre news. P Whit Emerson described Dream as a transcultural collaboration. He wrote that ‘This opera may be a way to open Chinese culture to a global audience, and for those unfamiliar with the novel, the opera succeeds: interested viewers may read the novel or watch one of several television or film adaptations to gain more insight. For those who are familiar with Chinese culture, this new interpretation of a classic novel through melding Chinese content into a Western form works well.’

4. Profile on Amanda Li, a Hong Kong opera singer, in Zolima City Magazine, on her role of BaoChai and the significance of her line: ‘A woman’s only chance for happiness is to marry well.’ She felt that to return to Hong Kong for her ‘first major role in such an expansive and elaborate production is an honour.’

5. Dream of the Red Chamber journeys across the Pacific By Carla Escoda, in Bachtrack, Escoda wrote that there was unique pressure on the Hong Kong production team ‘given the iconic nature of the text from which the opera is drawn.. and the Hong Kong audience will include more aficionados of the novel who are likely to be more opinionated on how the opera captures literary and historical nuance.’ And wondered ‘whether Hong Kong audiences and mainland opera houses embrace this hybrid East-West interpretation of a Chinese classic – the Chinese classic – is a matter of some geopolitical import.’ In the end she felt that Hong Kong Arts Festival has succeeded in presenting a strong production and performance.