September 2016
ArtsEmerson Cutler Majestic Theatre


Paola Prestini

Cerise Lim Jacobs
Creator and Librettist



Ming, the half-demon son of Madame White Snake, is a character closely related to the Sumerian demi-god Gilgamesh

Ming was abandoned during his mother’s epic battle with the Abbot. He encounters his mother for the first time in her human form while she is imprisoned by the Abbot in the Golden Mountain Monastery. She reveals his birthright - the power to control the waters and begs him to use this power to save her.Ming returns home to find that his wife has just given birth to a white, iridescent baby girl who resembles her grandmother. He gives the baby to Xiao Qing who had saved him when his mother was defeated. He returns to the Monastery. A robe and empty alms bowl are all that are left. Ming dons the robe, takes the alms bowl and leaves.


Creative Team

Paola Prestini Composer
Cerise Lim Jacobs Creator and Librettist
Michael Counts Director and Production Designer
Julian Wachner Conductor
Lidiya Yankovskaya Assistant Conductor
Cori Ellison Dramaturg
Yi Zhao Lighting Designer
Zane Pihlstrom Costume Designer
S. Katy Tucker Projection Designer
Beth Morrison Projects Creative Producer


The Inspiration

The more I got into the writing of Madame White Snake, the clearer it became that there was too much material to cram into one opera. I mean, what happened to the baby that was born to the White Snake during her epic battle with her arch nemesis, the Abbot? This was a question Charles asked over and over again until, with some exasperation, I began to write the story of Ming, the White Snake's son, in order to answer his question.


White Snake Projects at Five Years

A Loving Retrospective on Charles, the Visionary Who Made This Happen It’s coming up soon — White Snake Projects will be five years old in September. Neither Charles (husband, artistic partner, visionary, daredevil, risk taker, raconteur, impresario — you get the picture . . .) nor I ever… Read More