An opera based on an 18th century Chinese work called the “pinnacle of Chinese fiction” by Bright Sheng and David Henry Hwang is this week’s Sunday Opera (11/18 3:00 p.m.). “The Dream of the Red Chamber” is a huge work that features some forty main characters and over four-hundred secondary characters. In this San Francisco Opera version, the focus has been fine-tuned by librettist David Henry Hwang.
The Asian cast includes Pureum Jo, Yijie Shi, Hyona Kim, Irene Roberts, Qiulin Zhang, and Karen Chia-Ling Ho. George Manahan conducts the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. The afternoon will feature more music of Bright Sheng when Michael Kownacky brings you the Song of Majnun, a one-act opera based on the doomed love of Majnun and Layla and has been referred to as “a Persian ‘Romeo and Juliet.’” That will be followed by “The Blazing Mirage,” a piece for cello and orchestra that was inspired by the wonders of Dunhuang Caves where over four-hundred hand-carved temples contain the greatest examples of Buddhist religious art.