Creative Team

Composer & Librettist


Director & Production Design


Lighting Design







Book of Mountains and Seas is a work of vocal-theatre for 12 singers, two percussionists, and six puppeteers. It is inspired by the ancient Chinese compilation of early myths of the same title, which was first transcribed in 4th century B.C. Over the years, these mythological stories have become part of Chinese written and oral history, shifted and reshaped to match contemporary times. Book of Mountains and Seas is a 21st-century adaptation through the lens of our modern-day relationship with the natural world. The creation stories conjure a sense of respect and awe for the environment and the water stories challenge us to be good stewards of the natural resources we have been given.


This production is dedicated, in loving memory, to Stuart Nelson. Commissioned by Beth Morrison Projects, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Toronto Soundstreams, Koorbiennale, Hong Kong New Vision Festival, and Linda & Stuart Nelson. Developed by Beth Morrison Projects and Ars Nova Copenhagen. Produced by Beth Morrison Projects, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Internationale Koorbiennale and Toronto Soundstreams. Additional support provided by the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts, Jim Henson Foundation, Helen & William Little, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.


"Book of Mountains & Seas is an exquisite masterpiece of suggestion, an immersive tapestry of sound and image that weaves itself into your consciousness and makes its point about the interdependence of humans and their planet without ever saying it outright."

Wall Street Journal

"Meditative, innovative and interesting music flows captivatingly through the performance. The 12 singers of Ars Nova Copenhagen sings in Chinese and their performance is impressive; you really understand why the choir is known world wide”

Ascolta Opera Friends

“Book of Mountains and Seas succeeds in establishing a relation to the ancient myths which can still tell us about the world and how it is put together. It is an abstract but beautiful performance that makes us reflect on the vulnerability of our planet."

Ascolta Opera Friends

01 / 03

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