• Apr
  • Apr

A Flowering Tree by John Adams

Centro Cultural de Belém (Main Auditorium), Lisbon

Opera in 2 Acts. Libreto by John Adams and Peter Sellars.



Opera in 2 Acts.

Libreto by John Adams and Peter Sellars

Based on a homonymous Indian folk tale translated by A.K. Ramanujan, A Flowering Tree with a libretto by stage director Peter Sellars and composer John Adams narrates the rituals and ordeals underwent by a young couple that find out at long last the transfiguring power of love. The two-act plot evokes, almost immediately,  the mysticism and symbolism of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. The parallel is deliberate once the work was commissioned by the Vienna New Crowned Festival as part of the Mozart 250th Birth Anniversary Celebrations. John Adams’ cellular and minimalist art music, created as a response to the composer-scientist serialism philosophy, is as delicate and magical as the power of the young Kumudha who transforms herself into a tree and sells its flowers as to provide the support of her poor family. A Flowering Tree premiered in Vienna, in 2006, in a year where Google acquires YouTube, Patras is the European Capital of Culture, and foreseeing radical changes, Fidel Castro gives its powers to Raul, its younger brother. In Portugal, the surrealistic poet and artist Mário Cesariny passes away.

Performance Details

Conductor | Joana Carneiro

Director | Nicola Raab

Set designer and Costumes | George Souglides

Light designer | Aaron Black

Choreographer | Renato Zanella

Kumudha | Jessica Rivera

The Prince | Shawn Mathey

Narrator | Luís Rodrigues


Coro do Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
Principal Conductor | Giovanni Andreoli

Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa
Principal Conductor | Joana Carneiro


Co-production | Göteborg Opera, Teatro Comunale di Bolzano and Chicago Opera Theatre


Image credits | The Göteborg Opera 2015


A Flowering Tree, by Joana Carneiro (Conductor):

A Flowering Tree, by Nicola Raab (Director):

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