Key WordsChinese Opera, Cowherd, Goddess-Weaver, Jade Emperor, Librettist, Marriage, Mythology, Tragic Love Story,
In a reinvention of an ancient Chinese myth, The Silver River tells of the mortals and the gods who originally lived in eternal sunlight because the Silver River – the Milky Way – touched the earth. The fairest of Goddess-Weavers, a daughter of the Jade Emperor, would spin stars for the Silver River and create the music of the heavens. Once a year, she would descend to Earth to bathe in the Silver River. On one of her annual sojourns, the Goddess-Weaver falls in love with a mortal Cowherd, and he with her. She stops weaving her stars, and the universe falls into complete darkness. The Jade Emperor casts a spell, causing the Silver River to change its course to become a barrier between the two lovers, creating Night and Day. He now allows the two lovers to be reunited only once a year. ‘The Silver River’ is a juxtaposition of Chinese opera traditions with Western sensibilities through its score and libretto.
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The Silver River (2001)