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“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

“I loved the score for this project. Alice Ho has a unique ability to explore new sonic worlds: for this opera she combined European Baroque instruments (archlute, harpsichord, viola da gamba) and traditional Chinese instruments (erhu, pipa, guzheng).” — Derek

Toronto Masque Theatre commissioned Alice Ping Yee Ho and Marjorie Chan to create a new masque. The Lesson of Da Ji is 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 blends Eastern and Western instruments.

Toronto Masque Theatre presents:

The Lesson of Da Ji
Libretto by Marjorie Chan; Music by Alice Ping Yee Ho

World Premiere: May 2013
Al Green Theatre, Toronto

Vania Chan, Charlotte Corwin, Benjamin Covey, Alexander Dobson, William Lau, Derek Kwan, Marion Newman

Director: Derek Boyes
Music Director: Larry Beckwith
Choreographer: Marie-Nathalie Lacoursière
Costume Designer: Angela Thomas
Video Designer: Gabriel Cropley

The Lesson of Da Ji received the 2012/2013 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Opera

A recording of this opera for the Canadian Music Centre’s  Centrediscs  label is available HERE

It is also available on iTunes HERE

Wholenote Magazine Review HERE

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