From Zhou Long Wins Music Pulitzer For Fairy Tale Opera by Tom Huizenga:
Chinese-America composer Zhou Long has won the Pulitzer Prize for music with his opera Madame White Snake. The work received its world premiere in a production at Opera Boston Feb. 26, 2010, conducted by Gil Rose.Isn't it nice to know that the Pulitzer rules don't automatically disqualify music inspired or drawing from fairy tales for inspiration? Remember that The Little Match Girl Passion by David Lang won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2008 so this isn't a fluke.
Pulitzer officials described Zhou's piece as "a deeply expressive opera that draws on a Chinese folk tale to blend the musical traditions of the East and the West."
The story of Madame White Snake — a traditional transformation myth, not unlike the Western Little Mermaid — is something that Zhou says every Chinese would know.
"It's very popular not only in China but in Asia. They've adapted it into movies and television series," Zhou said in a telephone conversation earlier today. "But this is the first modern, Western opera form sung in English."
Yes, I am looking at you National Book Foundation.
Congrats to Zhou Long!
And if you are interested, here is a book copy of the story in English to read, Madam White Snake (English-Chinese). I haven't seen a recording of Madame White Snake available yet.