Marco Polo
Composer: Tan Dun
Librettist: Paul Griffiths
Other Artistic Personnel: Martha Clarke (Director)
Original Cast: Thomas Young (Polo)
Alexandra Montano (Marco)
Dong-Jian Gong (Kublai Khan)
Susan Botti (Water)
Shizheng Chen (Rustichello/Li Po)
Nina Warren (Sheherezada/Mahler/Queen)
Stephen Bryant (Dante/Shakespeare)
Premiere Date: May 07, 1996
Producing Company: Munich Biennale
Description: Marco Polo's legendary expedition from West to East is depicted onstage as a three-fold phenomenon: the physical journey, a spiritual journey, and a parallel musical journey. The explorer is divided: Marco represents being/action; Polo represents memory/feeling. As Marco makes his way from an Italian piazza to China's Great Wall in four scenes, accompanied by his companion Rustichello and other Beings and elements of Nature, Polo moves through the four-chaptered Book of Timespace: Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn, interacting with the "shadows" of such historical figures as Dante, Shakespeare, and Li Po. In the opera, the three-fold journey ends at the Great Wall of China, a massive symbolic form which Marco Polo, the man, must break through.
Reviews: South China Morning Post, Harry Rolnick, 2-18-97; Eliot Morgan, Asian Wall Street Journal, 21-02-97
Video Clip:
Length: 01:50
Total Acts: Not Available
Chorus: Chorus (min 16 singers)
Orchestration: fl(picc), ob(Eng Hrn), cl(bcl), bsn(contrabassoon), 2 horns, 2 trumpets*, 2 trombones, 3 percussion*, prepared piano, harp*, strings (at least 55442); (World Instruments): optional recorder (flute*), optional medieval harp (harp*), optional rebec (violin I*), sitar, tabla (perc.*), 2 Tibetan horns (2 trumpets*), Tibetan bells (perc.*), pipa (Chinese lute); Tibetan bells, Tibetan horns, and Tibetan singing bowls
Ballet/Dance: 7 Dancers
Musical Style: "World Music"-Dun incorporates tantric Tibetan music, Indian and classical Chinese music, lyrical Italian-style arias, quotations from Western music; Western avant-garde music with influences from Peking Opera, Kabuki, Indonesian shadow theater, etc.
Contact: G. Schirmer, Inc.
E-mail Address:
Phone: 212-254-2100
Publisher Web Site:
Schedule of Performances Listings
Marco Polo (Dun)
Tuesday, September 15, 1998 - Music-Theatre Group
Marco Polo (Dun)
Saturday, November 8, 1997 - New York City Opera
Marco Polo (Dun)
Sunday, June 1, 1997 - Music-Theatre Group
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