Opera Scotland

Zen Story


Miriama Young


Alan Spence



First Performance: Aberdeen (Elphinstone Hall, University of Aberdeen), 15 May 2010.

Scottish Opera première: As above.



The third series of Five:15 operas reached outside the central belt for the first time, so Aberdeen had the honour of presenting five world premieres. This rather strange tale opened the series.



Girl (soprano)

Mother (mezzo-soprano)

Father (baritone)

Hakuin (bass)


Programme Note

A young girl finds herself pregnant. Distraught, she encounters a Zen master, Hakuin, who sees how she is suffering. The girl confesses to her mother that she is with child, but her father reacts violently and she claims that the baby is the holy man's. Hakuin accepts responsibility, and takes care of the chikld, his reputation ruined. Gradually his actions lead to a surprising conclusion, an awakening, an understanding of a deeper truth.

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