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Jacobs School Of Music At The Workshop

Composer P.Q. Phan’s opera "The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh" makes its debut.

P. Q. Phan

Photo: Courtesy of Indiana University

Composer P. Q. Phan

Event Information

The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh by P. Q. Phan

an opera based on Quan Am Thi Kinh (Our Benevolent Buddha Thi Kinh), a traditional Vietnamese work that combines both music and drama


Auer Hall

July 29 and 30, 2011 at 8 pm

free admission

Jacobs School of Music faculty member P.Q. Phan’s opera The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh has workshop performances Friday and Saturday, July 29 and 30, at Indiana University’s Auer Hall.

The opera is based on a traditional Vietnamese work, but Phan has made substantial dramatic and musical changes.

“The original tale had a heavy concern for religion,” Phan says. “I’ve focused more on the drama of women proving their ability to make effect in society. Lady Thi and two other women present a cross-section. I have used some Vietnamese melodies, and the new pieces are written in that spirit. Western opera goers would be sad if there wasn’t a chorus. Traditional Vietnamese musical plays don’t have one, so I’ve created a new tradition.”

Watching The Show, Watching The Audience

The IU Opera Theater’s Vincent Liotta is the stage director. He’s a champion of the workshop process.

“It’s a little like American musical theater’s tradition of the out-of-town opening. It gives us a chance to see the whole piece, to see what works and what doesn’t work. Some things that looked good on paper, and even in the rehearsal room, don’t stand up and need cutting. Conversely, sometimes you’ll see where you need some more material.”

Getting a sense of what works is a group project, Liotta says. “Having an audience helps too. If I’m sitting in an audience, I can feel when they are involved, when they may be confused. And for the audience itself, it’s a great chance to get in on the creative process, to see a work as it grows and develops.”

George Walker

After completing an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University, George Walker began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists and reviews plays and operas.

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