A new opera by composer Huang Ruo marrying Chinese traditions from the Ming Dynasty with contemporary Western idioms. In a dream, a woman meets her lover and searches for an unattainable ideal as a vast garden grows from an empty stage, only to disappear as her dream ends. The projections provide a visualization of her emotional journey through various forms of light. The production uses interactive voice recognition software developed by Guillermo Acevedo to generate light particles based on the singer’s vocal track.

The lights manifest themselves in various forms as the woman explores the garden. The projections were also used as side lighting to provide a tight and flexible focus on the performers on stage. Additional content was created to reinforce the woman’s emotional journey as she searches for her lover.

Paradise Interrupted premiered at Spoleto Festival in 2015. 



Composer Huang Ruo
Director Jennifer Wen Ma
Libretto Ji Chao, Jennifer Wen Ma, Huang Ruo and Qian Yi
Conductor John Kennedy
Scenic Design Jennifer Wen Ma and Matt Hilyard
Projection Design Austin Switser
Interactive Video Design Guillermo Acevedo
Lighting Design Lihe Xiao
Costume Design Melissa Kirgan and Xing-Zhen Chung-Hilyard