Madame White Snake
Composer: Zhou Long
Composer Bio: Zhou Long (b. July 8, 1953, Beijing) is recognized internationally for creating a unique body of music that brings together the aesthetic concepts and musical elements of East and West. Deeply grounded in the spectrum of his Chinese heritage, particularly its philosophical, and spiritual ideals, he is a pioneer in combining the idiomatic sounds and techniques of ancient Chinese musical traditions with contemporary Western ensembles and compositional forms.

Zhou Long was born into an artistic family and began piano lessons at an early age. During the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to a rural state farm, where the bleak landscape with roaring winds and ferocious wild fires made a profound and lasting impression. He resumed his musical training in 1973, studying composition, music theory, and conducting, as well as Chinese traditional music. In 1977, he enrolled in the first composition class at the reopened Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Following graduation in 1983, he was appointed composer-in-residence with the National Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra of China. He came to the United States in 1985 under a fellowship to attend Columbia University, where he studied with Chou Wen-Chung, Mario Davidovsky, and George Edwards, receiving a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1993. After more than a decade as music director of Music from China in New York City, he received ASCAP's prestigious Adventurous Programming Award in 1999.
Librettist: Cerise Lim Jacobs
Librettist Bio: Cerise Lim Jacobs was born in colonial Singapore into a traditional Chinese family. She grew up at the confluence of many disparate influences stemming from Singapore’s multicultural environment. When she was sixteen, her family emigrated to Australia to escape the turbulence created by the end of the Vietnam war and the bankruptcy of the British Empire. She dropped out of school at the age of nineteen to follow her heart and began a sojourn that took her from Melbourne, Australia, to Oxford, England, East Lansing, Michigan, Vancouver, Canada, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until she finally settled in Boston, Massachusetts.

Cerise is a lifelong student of living creatively and imaginatively as a means of achieving success across many disciplines. In her meanderings, she has pursued an eclectic array of interests ranging from ancient Chinese porcelains at the Ashmoleum Museum to modern British theater. She graduated, summa cum laude, in English with a specialty in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. She was a trial partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, one of the largest law firms in New England, where she specialized in criminal defense and patent litigation. She also served for five years as a federal prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office in Boston as part of her commitment to public service. Cerise garnered much of her theater skills in the hurly burly of the courtroom where she learnt to capture the hearts and minds of her juries.

Cerise is now retired. Since she resigned her law partnership, she has returned to her major passions in life – food, art and music.
Other Artistic Personnel: Gil Rose (Conductor)
Original Cast: Ying Huang (Madame White Snake)
Michael Maniaci (Xiao Quing)
Dong-Jian Gong (Abbot Fahai)
Peter Tantsits (Xu Xian)
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: February 26, 2010
Producing Company: Opera Boston
Description: A powerful white snake demon longs to become human to experience love. She grasps love for one fleeting instant before it is swept away by a flood of deceit, doubt and distrust.
Character List (Major): Madame White Snake
Xiao Quing
Abbot Fahai
Xu Xian
Length: Length is not available.
Total Acts: 4
Contact: Cerise Lim Jacobs
E-mail Address:
Phone: 617-899-6632
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
Tel: 212.796.8620 • Fax: 212.796.8621

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