Daiyu’s Swan Song

Dream of the Red Chamber

Chung Lai-Yung & Angela Keung

The world-renowned Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber (紅樓夢) has been the subject rendered in many regional operas of different traditions throughout China. Generations have been moved by the tragic love story between Jia Baoyu (賈寶玉) and Lin Daiyu (林黛玉). When Daiyu learns that Baoyu is betrothed not to her but to his other cousin, she is so broken-hearted that she loses her will to live. On her death bed, she asks her maid to bring out all the poems she has written and burns them, as she sings her swan song and dies.