Pulitzer winner discusses guilt, conscience in pioneering opera
By Yang Ran

The 22nd Beijing Music Festival brought Chinese composer Du Yun's Pulitzer Prize-winning opera "Angel's Bone" to the capital over the weekend.

Working alongside creative minds like librettist Royce Vavrek, conductor Julian Wachner and director Michael McQuilken, the opera recounts the story of two angels, who fell from heaven to the backyard of a greedy couple who kept them captive for their own financial gains.

With four lead singers, a nine-member choir and 10 instrumentalists, "Angel's Bone" showcased a blend of vocal and musical elements, including chamber music, punk rock and electronica. 

A scene from "Angel's Bone". /CGTN Photo

A scene from "Angel's Bone". /CGTN Photo

"Angel's Bone" premiered at New York's Prototype Festival in 2016. Du Yun was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music the next year, and became the second Chinese composer to win the award.

Librettist Royce Vavrek met Du in 2010. They admired each other's creativity so they decided to work together. Vavrek said "Angel's Bone" covers many topics, and showcases human nature.

"It is about a lot of things. I think this piece truly uses the prism of human and how we treat each other, and tries to create a hidden story that celebrates and turns a critical eye to the way we interact with each other. So I think it is probably the more important takeaway to the story," Vavrek said.

After the performance of "Angel's Bone" last weekend, Du will also join Chinese composers Chen Qigang and Zhou Tian at the concert "Celebrating Chinese and Western New Compositions" on October 25.