Composers: Song of a Wilted Flower

The hit of the current season at Germany's Nurnberg Opera House is an operatic twin bill called Dreams. Itis the work of the first Korean composer to make an important mark onWestern music, Isang Yun. Based on two ancient Taoist parables, Dreams idealizes the renunciation of earthly values while striving for inner personal freedom.

"What has passed returns to nothingness if one gazes back at it," runs one line of the libretto. "Today is spring; tomorrow the flower wilts." Perhaps it was thoughts like these that helped Yun finish Dreams in a Seoul prison cell last year.

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