When the White Snake Cries

August 12-19, 2009
Maliotis Cultural Center


Book and Lyrics by Cerise Jacobs

Music by Adam Brooks


She is a raging storm, her foes wish they were never born, when she cries the world will drown, for her lover who’s now gone

Ms. White falls in love with the village doctor, much to her helper Little Green’s dismay. For Little Green’s mistress is really a white snake who has been able to transform into a beautiful woman. Little Green, who is a green snake, doesn’t have her mistress’ skills and can only manage half the transformation – instead of feet, she has a tail. She dispatches the bullies at school who make fun of her because she’s green and has a tail. But bigger problems lie ahead. An Abbot breaks up what he thinks is an evil marriage between Ms. White and her love. Nothing Little Green can do can comfort her mistress. The White Snake’s tears of love drown the world.

Creative Team

Cerise Lim Jacobs Book and Lyrics
Adam Brooks Music
Matthew Kossack Director
ArtBarn Producer
Boston Children's Museum Presenter

The Inspiration

It occurred to me as we were preparing for the world premiere of Madame White Snake that an opera was not the best way to reach children.

I felt it important to reach children, particularly Asian children, because so many young people of Asian descent growing up in America are either ignorant of their cultural heritage or worse, alienated from it. Don’t get me wrong. I love so much about my adopted country, including the fact that it permits other cultures to exist side by side with the dominant one. But American culture is so dominant that it tends to eclipse and supersede other cultural minorities, particularly in the minds of young people who are trying desperately to fit in.