Starting March 4, the Zhang Huan-directed Semele performance will be presented at BAM Howard Gilman Opera House.
A 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple shares the stage with an inflatable puppet, debaucherous monks, and sumo wrestlers in George Frideric Handel’s sublime opera, directed by Chinese visual artist Zhang Huan. Renowned for his provocative interrogations of Eastern culture, Zhang transforms the restored 17-ton temple into an altar, palace, crematory, and heaven to tell of the karmic fate of Semele (performed by soprano Jane Archibald), whose attempt to trade sexual favors for divinity goes up in flames.
Zhang Huan talks about the origins of his version of Semele with the Wall Street Journal: “There are these messy relations between humans and gods, which we can see in real human life.” Read more from Wall Street Journal.
Zhang Huan joined Pace in 2007. His most recent series, Poppy Fields, has been displayed at Pace in New York and London. Read more about Zhang Huan here.
Tickets start at $35, for more information on Semele go to BAM's website.
Performance Dates: March 4th, 6th, 10th at 7:30 p.m. & a matinee showing on March 8th at 3 p.m.