Madame White Snake


Composer Zhou Long has been awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his opera Madame White Snake. Premiered in February 2010, it was the first commission from Opera Boston, and it was broadcast in April 2010 on 99.5 All Classical. You can learn more about the opera here, as well as listen to the entire broadcast.

After receiving the news that he had won the Pulitzer Prize, Zhou Long talked with Suzanne Shafer of American Public Media's Performance Today. Here is a part of that conversation:

Listen now

Listen to 99.5 All Classical's world-premiere broadcast of Madame White Snake.


The World

WGBH's The World takes you behind the scenes of Madame White Snake.

Once upon a time...

A cross-cultural drama of passion and transformation, Madame White Snake is a story drawn from a beloved Chinese legend: 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.
Who is Madame White Snake?
Watch as Opera Boston artists and Bostonians on the street try to answer, "Who is Madame White Snake?"

The birth of Madame White Snake
The creative team behind this world-premiere opera talks about the inception of the piece and the process of bringing it to the stage.

...the final step
The final preparations for Opera Boston's World Premiere, just before opening night!

The artists
Ying Huang, Madame White Snake
Chinese soprano Ying Huang has generated an extraordinary level of critical acclaim and popularity in a career that has already spanned many arenas, including opera and concert stages, television, recordings, and motion pictures.
Ms. Huang is consistently sought after on stages throughout the world for her portrayals of Mozart soprano roles. Her performances as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Despina in Così fan tutte and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte have been seen in opera houses throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

Zhou Long, composer
Zhou Long 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.

Gil Rose, music director
Gil Rose is recognized as one of a new generation of American conductors shaping the future of classical music. His orchestral and operatic performances and recordings have been recognized by critics and fans alike. In 1996, Rose founded the Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), the leading professional orchestra in the country dedicated exclusively to performing and recording music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Under his leadership, BMOP's unique programming and high performance standards have attracted critical acclaim and earned the orchestra eight ASCAP awards for adventurous programming as well as John S. Edwards Award for Strongest Commitment to New American Music. Since 2003, Rose has also served as music director of Opera Boston, an innovative opera company in residence at the historic Cutler Majestic Theatre.