Patria 8

The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix



The palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix is an outstanding creation of the renowned composer, R. Murray Schafer at the turn of the new millennium. It is a magical spectacle involving musicians, singers, actors, T'ai Chi performers and puppets of human size. The performance takes place outdoors before and on a large pond. The time is a summer evening at sunset and after nightfall. The duration of the performance is about two hours. Though the story is original, the historical period is that of the great T'ang dynasty of China (A.D. 618-907). In T'ang times, the Cinnabar Phoenix was the south-facing gate of the Great Luminous Palace at Ch'ang-an; but in the present treatment the Cinnabar Phoenix is a mythical bird sent by the gods to live in a palace on earth as a symbol of harmony and peace. The Warring States, however, attempted to capture the palace, but it suddenly vanished, together with the phoenix, to be replaced by a Lake of Dragons. Each year the Emperor Wei Lu comes to the site to mourn the disappearance of the palace and the sacred bird. The climax of the work will be the reappearance of the palace and the Cinnabar Phoenix floating on the water of the pond as a symbol of a millennium of harmony between East and West.

R. Murray Schafer's musical production "The Palace of the Cinnabar Phoenix" was premiered with great success in four shows from September 13 to 16, 2001 at Wolverton Hills on the Oak Ridges Moraine (near Pontypool, Ontario). It is a musical drama involving six singers, a choir, and a orchestra of both Chinese and western musicians with the excellent performance of the pepertiers manipulating 14 peperts of the size of real human (see creative teams). These intriger great interests and strong response from the audiences and the media alike. This concert was recorded by CBC Radio.

The second presentation was in the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve from August 31 to September 9, 2006. (see Press release , photos, and press reviews)


Due to the rain day last Saturday, there will be additional show on
Sunday, September 10, 2006


More information can be found at


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