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Sim Tjong

Photo: Anne Kirchbach

Staatsoper München, 1972, Director: Günther Rennert

Yun, Isang

Sim Tjong (1971-72)

Duration: 110 minutes

Korean legend in two acts with prologue and epilogue


English   Deutsch  

Libretto by Harald Kunz (G)


Scoring

10S,2M,3A,4T,4Bar,9B (doubled roles possible); chorus; 3(I=afl,II,III=picc).3(III=corA).2.bcl.3(III=dbn)-4.4.3.1-timp.perc(2):tam-ts/bell-bundle/crot/tom-ts/cyms/SD/BD/tgls/gongs/desk bells/vib/glsp/tpl.bls/Baks/ratchet/guiro/t.bells-harp-cel(=perc)-strings

Abbreviations (PDF)


Territory

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


World Premiere
01/08/1972
Staatsoper, München
Günther Rennert, director
Conductor: Wolfgang Sawallisch
Company: Bayerische Staatsoper


Roles

SIM TJONG, a reborn angel Lyric Soprano
SIM, her father on earth Baritone
LI, her mother on earth and OK-TJIN, her mother in heaven Lyric Soprano
PAENGDOK, a neighbour Contralto
MENDICANT FRIAR Bass
EMPEROR Baritone
SHIP OWNER Bass
CAPTAIN Baritone
PARK, a young lover Tenor
2 Bosal = BODDHISATTVAS Tenor, Contralto
3 WOMEN AT THE WELL Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Contralto
DOOR KEEPER Bass
COOK Mezzo Soprano
OLD SAILOR, YOUNG SAILOR Bass, Tenor
5 BRIDES OF THE DRAGON KING 5 Sopranos
DRAGON KING 5 Basses
2 COURTIERS Tenor, Baritone
Gods, sailors, the royal court

Synopsis

The mythical fairy story about the fate of Sim Tjong is one of the oldest and most popular stories of Korea: an old and blind man, who is very poor, has a daughter late in life whose mother dies in childbirth. When the girl is almost fully grown, the blind man meets a monk with whom he makes a pact. For a very large sum of money – compared to his slender means – which he will donate to the temple, the old man wishes to have his sight restored. In order to meet her father's debts, the girl sells herself to seamen who are looking for a sacrificial victim for the Dragon King. She jumps into the sea, finds the crystal palace of the Dragon King and, after some time has passed, she leaves the water world and returns to the earth. She encounters the Emperor, who makes her his wife. The Emperor has a search made for the old blind man who, in the meantime, is totally impoverished, and he is brought to the court. His daughter opens his eyes... Typical of the fundamental Taoist stance of the tale is that Sim Tjong's changes of existence are completely taken for granted. An apsaras (angel, fairy) from the supernatural realm, she first becomes a human being. She commits suicide and sinks down into the underworld of non-consciousness, into the autonomic plane of existence of plants. However, she does not stay within the sphere of the yin principle – feminine, water, darkness – but is reborn into another life on a higher plane of existence that corresponds to the yang principle – active masculine, near to the heavens and light. Like her father, she will return to the heavens once her task has been completed.
Harald Kunz


Moods

Dramatic


Subjects

Magic/Mystery, Mythology, Relationships, Society




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