Forum on Opera Poet Li Bai
An Afternoon Panel Discussion with WENJING GUO, composer; LEO LEE, critic; DIANA LIAO, librettist; HAOJIANG TIAN, operatic bass singer
"It marries the native poetic/decorative idiom to western instrumentation and vocal delivery in a way that remains instinctively Chinese. Its potential has been brilliantly showcased by Guo Wenjing's Poet Li Bai.'-- Financial Times
The opera Poet Li Bai was commissioned in the U.S. about a beloved poet of the Tang Dynasty whose sparkling poetry and flamboyant lifestyle earned him the title of Poet Immortal. Li Bai's childlike quality, gift in poetry, devotion to wine, and attraction to the moon are all revived in the production of this new opera, premiered in 2007 at the Central City Opera House in Colorado. The title role was created for the acclaimed basso Haojiang Tian from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Wenjing Guo, honored as one of the top 100 living artists in China, was commissioned to compose the music. This forum will provide an intellectual and scholarly discussion not only on Poet Li Bai, but will also investigate the intercultural possibilities of the genre by exploring how opera stages the relationship between China and the West. It will bring together composer Wenjing Guo, basso Haojiang Tian, librettist Diana Liao and critic Professor Leo Lee. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Daniel Chua, Head of School of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong.