Composed by Pete M. Wyer
libretto by melissa salmons
The story of one teenage girl standing up against authoritarian power. An immersive one woman show performed within a unique 24-speaker sound-array.
Ga Sho is an original immersive opera experience based on the true story of a teenage Tibetan nun whose act of peaceful protest condemned her to years of brutal torture in a Chinese prison. She survives by holding close to her mantras, her memories of family, her devotion to her fellow prisoners… and her belief that her torturers are her greatest teachers in the practice of compassion. Ga Sho places the lone live singer and the audience within a surround of 24 independent audio speakers from which emerge (authentic) chanting Tibetan monks, ritual instruments, choruses, and found sounds that transform the space from the harsh external realities of solitary confinement in a brutal prison system to an inner spiritual world. Large scale animated projections of the wrathful and peaceful deities of The Tibetan Book of the Dead and memories from Tsering’s life before prison take the audience on a sweeping 70-minute journey that ends with Tsering's release... as her songs unexpectedly lead to her freedom.
“Prison became our nunnery and the prison guards were our gurus. The Buddha taught that an enemy is the best teacher, because only when someone is cruel to you can you truly be tested on your practice of compassion toward all sentient beings. No matter our sufferings, our spirits were far from broken.” – Ngwang Sangdrol
“Although the opera is still a work in progress, Wyer’s score and libretto are off to a stunning start … inventive mixture of Western music with traditional Tibetan sounds … Wyer is fortunate to have the support of American Opera Projects, an organization that excels at producing new works by contemporary composers.” — Gwarlingo.com
Duration 70' / no intermission
Commission Ga Sho is currently in development with American Opera Projects.
Roles 8 singers (1 soprano, 1 mezzo-soprano, 2 tenors, 1 baritone, 1 alto, 1 bass-baritone)
Instrumentation Tibetan chanting, ritual instruments (Gyaling, Dungchen, Dramyen), strings, piano, electronics (including samples), percussion, ambient sounds (prison, rain, snow, storm)
Publisher Staged performances of this work require licensing through the creators.