Mackay Opera Nov 27-30

From 27th to 30th November 2008, the National Theater & Concert Hall will present a cross cultural international opera production “Mackay- The Black Bearded Bible Man”. The biggest event in 2008 for the Center, this large-scale opera production invites nearly one hundred outstanding operas singers and production members from Europe, America, and Taiwan participate. The opera will mark a milestone in Taiwan’s music history. [quote]World Premiere 27 November 2008
National Theatre, Taipei, Taiwan
Original Opera in Three Acts
Staged Performance Sung in English
and Taiwanese[/quote]

[quote]The three-hour-epic-theatre-like piece was originally
commissioned by Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan.
It took Gordon Shi-Wen Chin, the highly-praised
Taiwanese composer, five years to complete with the
librettist Joyce Chiou. Through the eyes of the worldknown
director Lukas Hemleb, the three-act opera sung
in Taiwanese will not only depict the legendary life of
the devoted priest George Leslie Mackay (1844-1901),
but it shows also how one can relate him or herself to a
total strange country. The big love expressed throughout
the opera encourages as much as reminds us never
hesitate to take everything and everyone around you to
heart. Whether Taiwanese or not, you shall be
overwhelmed by the philosophical romanticism and
sweeping lyricism in the Black Bearded Bible Man.[/quote]

[quote]Event Information
• Venue National Theater
National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center
No. 21-1 Chung-Shan South Road,
Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C.
• Date Thursday 27-Saturday 29 November, 19:30
Sunday 30 November, 14:30
• Ticket from NTD 600
• Duration Approximately 3 Hours
• Presented by National Chiang Kai-Shek Cultural Center
• Sung in English and Taiwanese with subtitles

Mackay Thomas Meglioranza (Baritone)
Yen Tsing-Hua (A-Hua) Seung-Jin Choi (Tenor)
Chang Tsung-Ming Mei-Lin Chen (Soprano)
Wu’s Father Rong-Kwei Chen (Baritone)
Wu Yi-You Choon-Boon Liau (Bass)
Lin Nie / Yeh Shun Chung-Kuang Lin (Bass)
Auntie Chen Ta Ruo-Pei Wong (Mezzo Soprano)
Wang Chang-Sui’s Wife Xiang-Yu Lin (Soprano)
Lin Buei / Mang Han Wei-Shu Tsai (Bass)
Wang Chang-Sui Siao-Cheng Kong (Tenor)
National Symphony Orchestra, Taiwan
Chorus Parts Taipei Philharmonic Choir[/quote]

Act I
Mackay, a 31-year-old Canadian from Oxford, Ontario,
sets foot in Taiwan in 1872 as a Christian missionary.
Ever since he’s learned of China from a fellow Canadian
missionary, his goal in life was to go to China to serve
God in the Far East. Only with his faith and a dictionary,
he starts his life in a small village in northern Taiwan.
As he settles in, he finds that the local farmers and
fishermen keep a distance from him. Through an
incident, he realizes that he could easily make friends
with country-boys and even learns practical Taiwanese
from these “little teachers.” He finally breaks through
the local community.[/quote]

[quote]Act II
In order to make friends with the locals, he practices
medicine, including removing teeth, curing dysentery,
and other diseases, all while singing hymns. He continues
to study the bible. Not all days are filled with satisfied
patients: there are many disputes, even fights, especially
with Buddhists. Fortunately, Mackay solves these
conflicts by saving more lives with “magic medicine
water” - the western medicine. Soon, Mackay sets up
churches, and starts to establish schools for both men
and women. More opposition counter his school-building
efforts until his wife, Tzon-ming (a local but illiterate
woman) lobbies for the idea of women’s school and
eventually helps to set up the first women’s school in

[quote]Act III
In summer of 1884, war breaks out between China and
France over the sovereignty in Vietnam. Mackay is
forced to temporarily leave Taiwan. While away, he
realizes that Taiwan is now his homeland and has strong
ties with the people. He feels that they are his
“responsibility and promise” to God. When he finally
returns to Taiwan, he vows this is where he will live for
the rest of his life. He keeps teaching and preaching…[/quote]

Did anyone go? How was it?

Not very good, apparently.

Any way to get it on DVD?

Will they show it again?

I’d love to see it (a long as there are English subtitles).