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The Bonesetter's Daughter

The Bonesetter’s Daughter, an innovative new opera based on the best-selling Amy Tan novel, had its world premiere in September 2008 at the San Francisco Opera. The opera, with music by Stewart Wallace (Harvey Milk) and a libretto by Ms. Tan herself, combines Western and Chinese opera styles. Qian Yi plays the role of “Precious Auntie,” the title role in Tan’s story about the Chinese immigrant experience.


New York Times
Anthony Tommasini
"The decision to mix traditional Chinese singers with American-trained artists was a risky move that mostly pays off. Precious Auntie is sung alluringly by the remarkable Qian Yi, best known in the United States for her starring role in the 19-hour Ming dynasty opera “The Peony Pavilion,” performed at Lincoln Center in 1999 and directed by Mr. Chen."
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Los Angeles Times
Mark Swed
"Zheng Cao (as Ruth and the young LuLing), Ning Liang (the dying LuLing) and Qian Yi (Precious Auntie) are the heart of the performance. And their combined ability to bring soaring lyricism, intense drama and exotic Chinese effects (Qian comes directly from the kunjun tradition) proved irresistibly voluptuous."
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San Francisco Chronicle
Joshua Kosman
"Qian Yi, a performer steeped in the kunju school of Chinese opera, is nothing short of mesmerizing as Precious Auntie."
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The Wall Street Journal
Heidi Waleson
"Qian Yi, trained in the Chinese kunju opera style, was the star of Mr. Chen's 19-hour opera
The Peony Pavilion, and Mr. Wallace wrote the role of Precious Auntie for her distinctive gifts, incorporating the swoops and slides of kunju singing into the Western vocal line. She was mesmerizing in the role: Her fluid kunju movements, fluttery costumes designed by Han Feng, and floating white wig also suggested an otherworldly personage."
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For performance dates and more about
The Bonesetter’s Daughter at the San Francisco Opera, visit

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San Francisco Chronicle
David Wiegand
“With part of the story set in San Francisco and part in China, Wallace's music blends Western and Chinese styles. ‘We thought we'd make an opera the way you always make an opera,’ Wallace said. ‘But then China got in the way.’ ”

Asia Society Flyer for Work-in-Progress Discussion
“Direct from Beijing, San Francisco and New York: two extraordinary singers, mezzo-soprano Cao Zheng and Kun opera singer Qian Yi, join lead Beijing Opera percussionist Li Zhonghua… feel the excitement rise in this rare preview of the back story and the making of a bold new American opera.”

Qian Yi prepares for a sneak preview in San Francisco.

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