Madame Mao
Composer: Bright Sheng
Librettist: Colin Graham
Other Artistic Personnel: Colin Graham (Director)
John Fiore (Conductor)
Neil Patel (Set Designer)
David C. Woolard (Costume Designer)
Rick Fisher (Lighting Designer)
Lily Cai (Choreographer)
Robert Wood (Chorus Master)
Original Cast: Robynne Redmon (Older Jiang)
Anna Christy (Younger Jiang)
Alan Opie (Mao)
Mark Duffin (Actor/Manager & Emperor Gao)
Kelly Kaduce (Actress, ZhiZhen & YangPaifeng)

Accusers, Victims & Committee:
Carlos Archuleta
Branch Fields
Michael Kirkpatrick
Audrey Elizabeth Luna
Christina Major
Nicholas Perna
Derek Taylor
Christopher Wilburn
Work Web Site:
Premiere Date: July 26, 2003
Producing Company: Santa Fe Opera
Description: As the corpse of Jiang Qing, or Madame Mao, swings in the cell where she has hanged herself, we journey retrospectively through the events of a life that came to this undignified end. Rejected by her father when she was a child, Jiang Qing sees a chance to prove herself when Mao Zedong, leader of the Communist Revolutionaries, throws his wife into an asylum and takes a fancy to her. As Mao’s policies fail and he descends into a life of debauchery, Jiang Qing takes control, using the brutality of the Cultural Revolution to take revenge on those that she feels have betrayed her. In the end, Mao also rejects her and she is sent to prison where she takes her own life, in the belief that posterity will eventually vindicate her name.

Courtesy of G. Schirmer
Character List (Major): JIANG CHING I, Madame Mao (dramatic mz)
JIANG CHINA II, Madame Mao in her 20s (s)
-also plays NORA (in Act 1)
-also sings in Chinese Opera scenes: MU GUIYING (in Act II)
ZHI ZHEN, Mao's previous wife (lyric s)
-also sings AN ACTRESS (in Act 1)
-also sings in Chinese Opera scenes: YANG PAIFENG (in Act II)
MAO ZEDONG, Chairman of the Communist Party of China (Verdi bar)
THE ACTOR (high t)
-also sings in Chinese Opera scenes: EMPEROR GAO (in Act II) ANOTHER MAN (see below)
Character List (Minor): The Accusers (8 soloists: 2 sopranos, 2 tenors, 2 baritones and 2 basses, double in many other parts, including The Committee and Victims in Act 11. They also include Another Man and The Actress) Sometimes these appear as Madame Mao's accusers as at the Trial, sometimes as bitter memories of her past.
Reviews: Madame Mao's Life As the Stuff of Opera - The New York Times 7/28/2003
Length: 02:00
Total Acts: 2
Chorus: SATB Chorus (minimum 32)
Orchestration: 2(pic).2(ca).2(Ebcl,bcl).2(cbn)/4331/timp.4perc/hp/str
Ballet/Dance: 8 Dancers (4 men 4 women)
Contact: G. Schirmer, Inc.
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-254-2100
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Madame Mao (Sheng)
Saturday, July 26, 2003 - Santa Fe Opera
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