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February 5, 2013 > Forget the man in the moon, meet "The Moon Maiden"

Forget the man in the moon, meet "The Moon Maiden"

By Monica Kim

On a night when the moon is full, look up and you just may see the figure of the maiden in the moon - or at least that's how the story goes in a new opera by the Montessori School of Fremont, held at the Smith Center at Ohlone College on February 8.

"'The Moon Maiden' will transport audiences to ancient China," said Kathy Brunner, Director of Montessori's elementary program. "This time-honored tale is brought to life with beautiful scenery and stunning costumes."

The story of "The Moon Maiden" begins during the mid-autumn festival, a time of thanksgiving and storytelling. At dusk, the village children gather around the elder, eager to hear once again the beloved story.

The King of Heaven had ten sons, each one a sun. Each day one of the sons would bring warmth and light to Earth's people. But one day, all the sons went up into the heavens, cavorting across the sky. Their intense heat caused calamity on Earth. The King of Heaven sent the Master Archer to remedy the situation but when the archer kills nine of the ten sons, the King banishes him from heaven. Forced to live on Earth, the Master Archer falls in love with a village maiden and the two are married.

In time, the King of Heaven forgives the archer and sends a box with pills of immortality, inviting the archer to take one and once again become an immortal. But in a twist of fate, the wife swallows the pill and begins to float towards the moon. In sympathy, the King of Heaven restores the Master Archer to his immortal position to guard the Palace of the Sun and one night of every month he is allowed to visit his wife on the moon. And that is when the moon is at its brightest, the union of yin and yang.

This beloved Chinese fairy tale has been beautifully adapted by the acclaimed duo of Sanford and Judy Jones, founders of Youth Opera International. The two have created over a dozen operas for children.

This year's cast will be the children of the Montessori School of Fremont. Every child from grades 1 to 6 will be performing in this beautifully crafted production. Once again, this year's lead soprano is Sophia Brunner, a veteran of the Jones' operas.

The price for an adult ticket is $12 and for children $10, making this an affordable and entertaining evening out for the family. Tickets are available through the Montessori School of Fremont, (510) 490-0919.

For further information, please visit their website:
www.montessori-fremont.com/opera.html

The Moon Maiden
Friday, Feb 8
7 p.m.
Smith Center, Ohlone College
Jackson Theatre
43600 Mission Blvd., Fremont
(510) 490-0919
www.montessori-fremont.com/opera.html
Tickets: $12 adults, $10 children

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