Showing posts with label Orphan of Zhao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orphan of Zhao. Show all posts

The Orphan of Zhao

Theater Music
for voices, xun, kubing, violin, cello, cymbals, drum, gongs, water

“... a complex and evocative score.” —Leo Stutzin, Huffington Post

Description
Journalist and poet James Fenton created an English adaptation of The Orphan of Zhao (趙氏孤兒), a classic Chinese play about revenge and sacrifice. Music for the U.S. production included three ensemble numbers + six solos, as well as numerous musical transitions for the 25 scenes.



Performances
American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco) June 2014
La Jolla Playhouse (San Diego) July/August 2014

Press Quotes
“Certain elements of that pageant are quite enjoyable, most notably the original score by Byron Au Yong and played by an onstage cellist and violinist augmented by cast members on percussion and unusual instruments (like water bowls).”
—Chad Jones,  San Francisco Chronicle

“... nonstop instrumental effects, ‘Zhao’ calls for and receives heightened stylistic attack from its players.”
—David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times

“... a haunting mix of strings, gongs, percussion and even tones summoned from bowls of water.”
—James Hebert, The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Au Yong’s original music goes in surprising directions and tonalities.”
—Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader

Cast
Marie-France Arcilla
Stan Egi
Philip Estrera
Nick Gabriel
Cindy Im
Orville Mendoza
Paolo Montalban
Brian Rivera
Sab Shimono
Julyana Soelistyo
Daisuke Tsuji
BD Wong
Musicians
Philip Estrera, violin
Jessica Ivry, cello
+ members of the cast

Creative Team
Carey Perloff, director
Byron Au Yong, composer
Stephen Buescher, movement
Daniel Ostling, scenic design
Linda Cho, costume design
Lap Chi Chu, lighting design
Jake Rodriguez, sound design
Resources
Words on Plays
A.C.T.’s in-depth performance guide includes Michael Paller’s “Where the Sound Comes From: An Interview with Composer Byron Au Yong” (PDF)

Stage and Cinema
historical details about A.C.T.’s production of The Orphan of Zhao, by Tony Frankel

Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

BD Wong on NBC

Thanks BD for giving a shout-out to the music.



“BD Wong stars in The Orphan of Zhao at La Jolla Playhouse” Interview at NBC News San Diego.

Desert Local News Review

Thanks Jack Lyons for The Orphan of Zhao review called “2400 Year Old Chinese Drama Is Reimagined For The Stage At The La Jolla Playhouse”:
“The production is sensitively and deftly directed by Carey Perloff, and boasts onstage musical accompaniment in the form of a sensuously played cello by Jessica Ivry, and a series of violin interludes, performed by cast member Philip Estrera…. The costumes designed by Lind Cho are spot-on, and sound by Jake Rodriguez, with original music by Musical Director Byron Au Yong are first rate.”
Read the entire review in the Desert Local News


LA Times Review

Thanks David C. Nichols for your review called “’The Orphan of Zhao’ a skillful, specialized epic”:
“... nonstop instrumental effects, ‘Zhao’ calls for and receives heightened stylistic attack from its players.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

Read the review in the LA Times

San Diego Reader Review

Thanks Jeff Smith for your review called “Sacrificial Stands: La Jolla Playhouse stages The Orphan of Zhao”:
“Au Yong’s original music goes in surprising directions and tonalities.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne
Read the entire review in the San Diego Reader

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News Review

Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

Thanks Jean Lowerison for your review of The Orphan of Zhao:
“Sound is not shortchanged. Jake Rodriguez’s sound design and especially music director Byron Au Yong’s original music – beautifully played by cellist Jessica Ivry – are integral...”

Read the entire review in the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

San Diego Union-Tribune Review

Thanks James Hebert for your article called “Review: A rich and rewarding Zhao”:
“While there’s a sense of pensive reserve to Wong’s performance, there’s also a musical quality to his voice, a kind of quaver. That seems to dovetail with the actual music in the production, composed and directed by Byron Au Yong; it’s a haunting mix of strings, gongs, percussion and even tones summoned from bowls of water.
There are vocals, too: Wong sings in a wistful falsetto over strains of violin in one musical sequence near the end.”

Photo Credit: Kevin Berne
Read the review in The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla Light Interview

Thanks Diana Saenger for this preview interview of director Carey Perloff called “Exciting world of ancient China awaits in ‘The Orphan of Zhao’ at La Jolla Playhouse”:
“I’ve really come to admire composer Byron Au Yong’s original music that has an infusion of both Chinese and western elements that include water bowls, bamboo, stones, cello, violin, drumming, and gongs.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne
Read the entire interview at La Jolla Light News

Huffington Post Review

Thanks Leo Stutzin for your review of The Orphan of Zhao at A.C.T. called “Revenge, Honor, Sacrifice in Ancient China”:
“Byron Au Yong composed the exotic and mesmerizing score, using a bowed and plucked cello, a violin and improvised or traditional instruments.”
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne
Read the review in the Huffington Post

San Jose Mercury News Review

Thanks Pat Craig for your review called “Orphan of Zhao an epic and engrossing tale at American Conservatory Theater”:
“… engaging songs performed live that enhance the high-stakes tension and emotion that fills the piece.”

Read the review in the San Jose Mercury News

Broadway World Review

Thanks Harmony Wheeler for your review called “Orphan of Zhao at ACT-SF is Intense Powerful Drama”:
“Byron Au Yong’s score alternates between a distinct Chinese sound and a more modern sound, using the cello, violin, drums and more.”

Read the review in Broadway World

San Francisco Chronicle Review

Thanks Chad Jones for your article called “’The Orphan of Zhao’ review: It’s pageantry over passion”:
“Certain elements of that pageant are quite enjoyable, most notably the original score by Byron Au Yong and played by an onstage cellist and violinist augmented by cast members on percussion and unusual instruments (like water bowls).”
Photo Credit: Kevin Berne

Read the San Francisco Chronicle review at SF Gate

The Orphan of Zhao



Rehearsals started earlier this week for The Orphan of Zhao (趙氏孤兒). Here's the sign on our rehearsal room. The ensemble songs are definitely not quiet!

The new production runs at American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, from June 4 - 29, 2014, and La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, from July 8 - August 3, 2014. Here's the trailer...

Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. He teaches in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

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