Tan Dun | Tea: A Mirror of Soul (Opera in Three Acts)
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A “voyage through tea,” Tan Dun’s opera uses the composer’s concept of organic music to create a musical and theatrical experience that explores matters of the head and of the heart.


In my research for Tea I travelled around Japan and China and learned that Japanese tea is a “mirror of the soul.”

–Tan Dun


Tea: A Mirror of Soul takes place in ancient Japan. The striking score incorporates “organic music,” with the use of natural materials as instruments. Percussionists play large bowls of water, paper panels, ceramic pots and stone.


ACT I

Water, Fire


ACT II

Paper


ACT III

Ceramic, Stones


There is no boundary between the set design and the instruments. Secondly, there is no boundary between the instrumentalists and the singers. Thirdly, there is no boundary between the “organic music” and the conventional orchestra. Fourthly, there is no boundary between the audience and the performers moving and acting on stage.