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Chin, UnsukAlice in Wonderland (2004-2007) 120'
Opera in eight scenes

Music Text  
Libretto by David Henry Hwang and Unsuk Chin based on the Lewis Carroll books 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' (E)

3S,M,CT,2T,2B; chorus between 40-60 singers; additional children's chorus with a minimum of 20;
3(II=picc,III=picc,afl).2(II=corA).3(II=Ebcl,III=bcl).2(II=dbn)- marimbaphone/xyl/vib/vibraslap/cencerros/4tgl/8susp.cym(3sm,3med,2lg)/3tam-t(sm,med,lg)/ and sandpaper(fine,med,coarse)/3tom-t/3tamb(2sm)/3maracas/4pea-whistle/bird-whistle/ wine glass/2, low)/alarm clock/6SD/crot/plate bells(A,E,F)/4chromonica(Bb,C,D,E)/finger cyms/3sistrum/2cyms(1sm)/BD/8pop-bottles(different sizes)/ratchet(sm)/3whip/wood wind chime/bell tree/2metal grille(sm,med)/2Javanese gongs(Bb,C)/siren/flexatone/wind machine/anvil/timbales(sm)/Brazilian bamboo shaker/2trash-cans/20wine glasses/15forks/13spoons/5sm metal casseroles/3metal rattles/5thin metal sticks/auto-horn/t.bells/2chimes(v.low pitch)/2thunder sheets(sm,lg)/4bongos/swanee flute/glass wind chimes/lion's roar/harmonica-harp-pft(=cel,hpd)-acc-mandolin-sampler-strings(;
On-stage: bcl; Offstage: perc(4): cyms/SD(sm)/1trash-can/3metal casseroles/thunder sheet

Reduced orchestration (by Lloyd Moore): 3S,M,CT,2T,2B; chorus; additional children's chorus
2(I=picc,II=picc,afl,swanee fl).2(II-corA).2(II-Ebcl,bcl).2(II=dbn)- block/guiro/cast/alarm clock/4SD/BD/finger cyms/cyms/whip/bell tree/siren/flexatone/metal rattle/auto-horn/t.bells/2chimes/4bongo/trash cans/kitchenalia-harp.mand.pft(=cel,hpd)-sampler-strings(min:; double basses with 5 strings required); On-stage: bcl, (trash cans with kitchenalia may be used onstage for theatrical effect)..
Abbreviations (PDF).

This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

For full details on this stagework, including synopsis and roles, please visit our Opera section.

World Premiere
Bayerische Staatsoper, München
Achim Freyer, director / Bayerische Staatsoper / Kent Nagano

World premiere of version
Loretto Hilton Center, Saint Louis, MO
James Robinson, director / Opera Theatre Of Saint Louis / Michael Christie

Press Quotes  
" anarchic and surreal as the book itself... Chin has written one of the most significant of recent new operas."

Recommended Recording
Sally Matthews / Piia Komsi / Dietrich Henschel / Andrew Watts / Gwyneth Jones
Achim Freyer, director / Ellen Fellmann, video director
Bayerisches Staatsoper and Staatsorchester / Kent Nagano
Unitel A05016472

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News stories for this title :

  • Unsuk Chin: reviews of Alice in Los Angeles and London
  • Unsuk Chin's Alice in Wonderland celebrates book's 150th
  • Unsuk Chin: Alice in Wonderland in St Louis
  • Unsuk Chin: Alice in Wonderland reviews from Munich
  • Unsuk Chin interview about Alice in Wonderland opera

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