Paradise Interrupted

July 13–16

Gerald W. Lynch Theater

524 West 59th Street (Between 10th and 11th Avenues)

A mesmerizing new work that is part opera, part dynamic art installation.”

Wall Street Journal

One of the world’s leading young composers.”

New Yorker on Huang Ruo

New York premiere

Composer Huang Ruo

Librettists Ji Chao, Jennifer Wen Ma, Huang Ruo, and Qian Yi

Director/Designer Jennifer Wen Ma

Inspired by Tang Xian Zu’s text

Conductor Wen-Pin Chien

Soprano Qian Yi

Tenor Yi Li

Countertenor John Holiday

Baritone Joo Won Kang

Bass-baritone Ao Li

Ensemble FIRE

Set Designer Matthew Hilyard

Interactive Video Designer Guillermo Acevedo

Video Designer Austin Switser

Lighting Designer Lihe Xiao

Costume Designers Melissa Kirgan, Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard

Choreographer Gwen Welliver

In this arresting new opera by acclaimed composer Huang Ruo (Dr. Sun Yat-sen), traditional Chinese and contemporary Western idioms intertwine within an exquisite setting by visual artist Jennifer Wen Ma, known for her Emmy Award–winning work on the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Reimagining and fusing the biblical story of Eve’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the vivid dream of Du Liniang in The Peony Pavilion, Paradise Interrupted opens with a woman alone onstage, dreaming of an erotic encounter with her ideal lover. This dream triggers a psychological journey through a surreal, interactive garden made from dynamic paper sculptures. The woman is portrayed by Qian Yi, “China’s reigning opera princess” (New York Times), whose performance in Lincoln Center Festival’s famous 20-hour production of The Peony Pavilion in 1999 introduced New Yorkers to the 600-year-old Kun opera tradition.

Taiwanese conductor Wen-Pin Chien leads a chamber orchestra of both Western and Chinese instruments in Huang Ruo’s haunting, sensual score that weaves the melismatic vocal style of kunqu with Western tonality.

Events related to Paradise Interrupted

Asia Society

Inside Look: Paradise Interrupted

Watch the full video from the April 5 event.

Go inside the opera with composer Huang Ruo, director/designer and librettist Jennifer Wen Ma, and soprano Qian Yi.

Learn More »

Paradise Interrupted is co-commissioned and co-produced by Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, and Singapore International Festival of Arts with the generous support of Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang—Tang Family Foundation.

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Performed in Mandarin with English and Chinese supertitles

Venue Accessibility

  • Large-print programs
  • Captioning with English supertitles
  • Braille programs
  • Wheelchair-accessible seating
  • Assistive listening devices

For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact or 212.875.5375.
For ticketing information and general questions, please call 212.721.6500.