Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.


Arcola Theatre
24 Ashwin Street

E8 3DL


Niccolo AthensThe Monk and the Lotus (ad. by Xu Wei)


Robbie Haylett – Baritone
April Fredrick – soprano

Grimeborn Opera Festival

Other concerts in this Series (+)

Programme Note

A new opera, adapted from the Ming Dynasty classic by Xu Wei.

After the monk Yutong refuses to pay obeisance to the newly promoted magistrate Liu, Liu plots his revenge. He orders his courtesan Honglian to seduce Yutong, thereby ruining his religious achievements. Honglian arrives at the monastery at night, feigning illness. Yutong, full of mercy and compassion, must face a test like none he has encountered before…

This opera explores the collision between spiritual pursuit and human desire, questioning the nature of reality itself: flower in the mirror, moon in the water, what is real, what is illusory?


All this is expressed through innovative stage direction that takes inspiration from the close integration of singing and physical movement inherent in traditional Chinese Opera.

The words are adapted from ancient Chinese sources by Shiru Wang with the English adaption by Niccolo D Athens

The director is Shiru Wang.



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