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A Night at the Chinese Opera (2005)

for violin and piano



Program Note

A Night at the Chinese Opera was commissioned by the 2006 Indianapolis International Violin Competition. The basic materials in this work are derived from an instrumental interlude of the well-known Peking Opera, Farewell My Concubine, in which princess Yü bids farewell to General Xiang, her lover and master, with a sword dance before she kills herself at the climactic point of the dance. Here I imagine the violin part delivers the female singing voice while the piano part often gives the rhythm of the Chinese opera. Nonetheless, the feeling of dance should be prevalent.



—Bright Sheng