Das Waisenkind (The Orphan) premiered on Nov. 15, 2009

An opera in two acts by Jeffrey Ching
The composer’s text is adapted from Ji Junxiang (Chi Chun-Hsing), Metastasio, Voltaire, Goethe and others
In various languages with German subtitles
A cooperation with the Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha,
with generous support from Mrs. Milagros T. Ong-How, Manila

The unscrupulous officer Dag Ngans Kagh has Osmingti, the brother-in-law of the duke, sentenced to death under false accusations – along with his entire family, in order to protect himself from revenge. Osmingti kills himself and his wife Arfisa, who had entrusted their baby to a doctor called Cheng Ying shortly before. The doctor manages to smuggle the child out of the palace. When Dag learns that Osmingti’s son has survived, he gives orders to kill all the babies in the country. As a result Cheng Ying brings his own child to Osmingti’s old friend Alsingo, presenting him as Osmingti’s son. Dag finds the alleged orphan there and kills him. Years later Cheng Ying has managed to become an intimate friend of Dag, who has taken in Cheng Ying’s would-be son and named him his successor. As an adult, the orphan learns about the fate of his family from Cheng Ying. After revealing himself to Dag, he kills his parents’ murderer. Thus, the balance of the universe that was disrupted by the crime is restored.

The theme dates from Chinese antiquity. It was written down in the 14th century and was the first Chinese drama to be translated into a European language. Subsequently, playwrights from diverse European countries, including Voltaire and Metastasio, dealt with the subject matter. The work of Jeffrey Ching, a Philippine composer of Chinese descent, is concerned with the transference of Chinese ideology into European culture since the Baroque period. Accordingly, his libretto consists of ancient Chinese passages, but also episodes in French, English, Italian and German. Moreover, the music spans a range from the Asian tradition, through Baroque music to European Modernism.