In 2006, the critically acclaimed recording “Dream of an Opera” was released by Rhymoi Music. Its concept was utterly unique – offering traditional Chinese Opera without Words. As one of the world’s great, intangible cultural treasures, Chinese opera is, along with Greek Tragicomedy, and Indian Sanskrit Drama one of the three most ancient forms of Drama. And yet even today, despite the easy accessibility of films, recordings and the internet, “Chinese Opera” (of which there are more than 360 varieties!) remains for many, one of the world’s last great mysteries. It was the hope of Ye Yun Chuan to offer a strikingly modern vision and give new life to this most Chinese of art forms, to liberate the timeless stories and ancient melodies from the museum and kitschy tourist traps and share them with new generations of listeners – and new fans.
The result was an international success! Listeners and reviewers, who never imagined listening to Chinese Opera and LIKING it, were captivated by the sensitive, colorful orchestrations. Meng Qing Hua’s arrangements were brought to life by some of China’s greatest living instrumental virtuosos – artists who knew the music in its original form and who through their artistry could convey the nuance of every (unsung) word - making new friends for Chinese opera around the globe.
Traditionalists may object that such an approach to Chinese opera dilutes its “purity”, that Chinese Opera without SINGING is not Chinese Opera. Or that western instruments are incapable to accurately expressing the nuance of Chinese music. For those listeners, there will always be the recordings and films of Mei Lanfang, Yan Huizhu, Ma Lianliang, but for those listeners wishing to penetrate the “mysteries” of Chinese opera, not merely as an historic artifact but as a living tradition, “Dream of an Opera” is the perfect invitation. If Bach can be played on the Guzheng, than certainly the beauty and immortal qualities of Chinese Opera can withstand the addition of a few western instruments!
And now, Ryhmoi Music, Ye Yun Chuan, and Meng Qing Hua have returned with more treasures to enchant and captivate. Discover ten new operas with ten new stories, each representing a different regional tradition - Ji, Qin, Huagu, Lu, Chao, Peking, Kun, Cantonese, Huangmei and Zhejiang Yue operas – all are here for your enjoyment.
It goes without saying that even the best performance would provide little enjoyment if poorly recorded. And so, this album continues the World-Class production standards that have earned Rhymoi a place of pride among collectors and audiophiles everywhere. Many thanks to the management of China Central Television Station (CCTV)’s 480 square meter professional studio, the distinguished engineer Li Xiao Pei, our production crew and our friends at Stockfish Studios (Germany) who contributed to our team’s post-production effort.