The Lesson of Da Ji received the 2012/2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Opera
Derek Kwan has a lovely, high, firm tenor ideal for the cautious, sincere Bo Yi, drawn to love Da Ji in spite of the danger.
– Christopher Hoile, Stage Door
With his pleasant tenor, Derek Kwan (Shepherd/Bo Yi) held his own in both operas. More importantly, he brought key acting skills to the part of Bo Yi.
– Paula Citron, Opera Canada (Summer 2013)
There were some good performances, notably Derek Kwan as Bo Ji and Marion Newman as Da Ji. Both showed skill, artistry and versatility.
– John Gilks, Opera Ramblings
Toronto Masque Theatre commissioned Alice Ping Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan to create a new masque. Inspired by the true story of the Shang dynasty concubine Da Ji, and the King who enacted a tasty revenge on her secret lover; a revenge as grisly as anything Shakespeare conceived of in Titus Andronicus. In Ho and Chan’s version, Da Ji takes guqin music lessons from a young nobleman named Bo Yi. Chan has provided a rich and inventive script which drives to a surprising and powerful climax while Ho’s gorgeous music will blend eastern and western instruments, including the guqin that Da Ji learns to play. It will feature a performance by traditional Peking Opera dancer William Lau.
Toronto Masque Theatre presents
The Lesson of Da Ji
libretto by Marjorie Chan; music by Alice Ping Yee Ho
Al Green Theatre
Featuring: Vania Chan, Charlotte Corwin, Benjamin Covey, Alexander Dobson, William Lau, Derek Kwan and Marion Newman
Director: Derek Boyes
Music Director: Larry Beckwith
Choreographer: Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Costume Designer: Angela Thomas
Video Designer: Caroline Guilbault
Lighting Designer: Gabriel Cropley