King You's Folly

A modern full length opera for 2020 composed by Malcolm Bruce and produced by Wilfried Rimensberger

The design concept is about using light and transparent layers to create stunning scenes for Sadlers Wells and a touring show.


King You (周幽王), ruler of the Zhou Dynasty, and married to Queen Shen (申 后), falls in love with a beautiful concubine named Bao Si and she bears him a son. He banishes his Queen and their son Prince Yijiu and installs his new love at Court.

However, the King’s dreams of a new life of domestic bliss are thwarted when he fails to satisfy Bao Si’s every whim, try as he does to please her.

Justice prevails when Queen Shen, accompanied by her father the Marquess of Shen and the Quanrong nomads, attack the palace and kill King You. Bao Si takes her own life and that of her child. Prince Yijiu ascends as King Ping of Zhou and a new era is begun.