Northern Lights, Eastern Fire: world premiere opera

“Press releases and announcements” are presented verbatim without comment.

The Canadian Sinfonietta has commissioned a new chamber opera, Northern Lights, Eastern Fire, by Canadian composer Erik Ross, and Chinese-Canadian librettist Phoebe Tsang, which will be directed by D. Jeremy Smith. With a synopsis steeped in Chinese mythological intrigue, this work will be presented as part of our Chinese New Year Celebration on Saturday February 16 at 8 PM at the Glenn Gould Studio (250 Front St. W).

The Canadian Sinfonietta celebrates the Chinese New Year with a world premiere of the
chamber opera Northern Lights, Eastern Fire. Anna Guo and the Dunhuang Ensemble of
Chinese Instrumentalists will open the evening. Join the Canadian Sinfonietta as they ring in the year of the snake!

Northern Lights, Eastern Fire
music by Erik Ross, libretto by Phoebe Tsang
Charlene Santoni – Soprano – Fox
Xin Wang – Soprano – Taizhen
D. Jeremy Smith – Director and Designer
Erik Ross – Music Director
Clare Preuss – Movement Director
Costumes executed by Laura Gardner
Scenic elements executed by Angela Lim
Joyce Lai and Alain Bouvier – Violins
Tim Fitzgerald – Double Bass, Stephen Tam – Flute
Olivia Esther – Horn, Ira Zingraff – Trumpet
Scott Good – Bass Trombone, Erik Ross – Piano


The Fox Spirit—in the new opera Northern Lights, Eastern Fire—is obsessed with the
alluring Consort Yang. This legendary concubine of the Tang Dynasty is killed through
intrigue. The Fox’s magic allows her to take over the dead beauty’s corpse. However, after a thousand years, the corpse is rapidly disintegrating.

Then the Fox meets the Taoist nun Taizhen, and becomes convinced that this novice is the
reincarnation of the Consort’s spirit. The Fox’s desire to possess both Taizhen’s body and the Consort’s spirit leads her to a fatal seduction.

Canadian Sinfonietta
“Reintroducing live chamber music to the growing Toronto communities.”
Tak-Ng Lai, Artistic Director and Founder
Joyce Lai, Executive Director and Concertmaster
169 Highgate Avenue North York, ON M2N 5G9 416 221-3623

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