Alice Shieldscomposer

This is a graphic menu; if you cannot see it, use the text navigation at the bottom of the page

Kuan-yin, Chinese goddess of compassion. In the opera, Zhaojun poses as Kuan-Yin.

Zhaojun - A Woman of Peace
(pronounced Jah-oh Jün)

To stop environmental destruction and create universal peace, Zhaojun steps out of ancient times into the 21st century to confront a character called the Emperor.


Chamber Opera in One Act

for soprano, baritone, optional chorus
and 8 instruments: flute, clarinet, percussion, harp, piano, violin, viola & cello

An optional instrumental part for pipa (Chinese lute) and a piano reduction are also available upon request.


duration: 30 minutes


Music and Libretto by Alice Shields, in English

inspired by Yuan Dynasty theater and Tang Dynasty war poetry



Zhaojun, famous beauty of ancient China, who created peace between China and Mongolia. Former concubine to the Emperor.

......................   Soprano

The Emperor, who had earlier given away his concubine Zhaojun as a gift to the Mongols, and feels a little gulity.

......................   Baritone

Chorus, who assist Zhaojun in her various attempts to manipulate the Emperor.

......................   SATB


Optional Special Performer: The internationally celebrated pipa master Ms. Liu Fang is
interested in performing the optional pipa part in the opera. (

Optional Visual Art onstage: In performance the opera can feature paintings and
calligraphy by Chinese artist Wang Mansheng (


Ms. Liu Fang, pipa player (

Mansheng Wang: visual art

Sunset - painting by Mansheng Wang

Home  |  Biography  |  Works  |  News  |  Recordings  |  Alice's Articles on Music  |  Press  |  Contacts