poem on opera

3

Ji-ji, again ji-ji,
Mulan faces the door, weaving.
You can’t hear the sound of the loom’s shuttle,
You only hear Daughter’s sighs.
They ask Daughter who’s in her thought,
They ask Daughter who’s on her memory.
“No one is on Daughter’s thought,
No one is on Daughter’s memory.
Last night I saw the army notices,
The Khan is calling for a great force.
The army register is in twelve scrolls,
and every scrolls has Father’s name.

Ode to Mulan

Mulan’s costumes in the cantonese Opera by order of  appareance

It is a truism that Helen’s face launched a thousand ships, to say nothing of countless books, dramas, poems, paintings and operas. She is arguably the most notorious woman in Western culture. Yet she remains strangely faceless. Removed from the spotlight, she becomes unrecognizable, commonplace. Without her thousand ships, how would anyone pick her out in a crowd?
—  Robert Emmet Meagher, The Meaning of Helen: In Search of an Ancient Icon
Operas based on texts

In case anyone is interested, here are a number of books/plays/poems (excluding Shakespeare) that various operas are based on. A fair few of them are rather different to the opera but they’re nonetheless incredibly interesting to read:

Manon Lescaut - Prèvost (Manon Lescaut, Puccini, Manon, Massenet) 

Madame Chrysanthème - Loti (Madame Butterfly, Puccini

La Vie de Bohème - Murger (La Bohème, Puccini)

Thaïs - France (Thaïs, Massenet)

Carmen - Mérimée (Carmen, Bizet)

War and Peace - Tolstoy (War and Peace, Prokofiev) 

Le Mariage de Loti - Loti (Lakmé, Delibes)

The Sorrows of Young Werther - Goethe (Werther, Massenet)

Faust - Goethe (Faust, Gounod, La damnation de Faust, Berlioz, Mefistofele, Boito)

The Bride of Lammermoor - Scott (Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti)

Yevgeny Onegin - Pushkin (Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky)

Boris Godunov - Pushkin (Boris Godunov, Mussorgsky)

La dame aux camélias - Dumas (La Traviata, Verdi)


Happy reading!