In the original, a young girl (Du Liniang, or Bridal Du) dreams of meeting her soulmate, and draws her self-portrait while she waits for him to arrive. When he doesn't, she dies of a broken heart, but then the young scholar Liu Mengmei (the very sort Du had in mind) stumbles upon the portrait, falls in love with its subject, and wills her back to life. In Sellars' multimedia vision, performed in colloquial and classical Chinese with English supertitles, the drama unfolds against a starkly modern set equipped with video and digital samplers. Composer Tan Dun, meanwhile, infuses his traditionally Chinese score, played on ages-old instruments, with Gregorian chants, rock, and Western orchestral music. Chinese opera star Madame Hua Wenyi joins a cast that also includes Broadway actress Lauren Tom (as Bridal Du). The show opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday (also 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday) at Zellerbach Hall, Bancroft & Telegraph, UC Berkeley campus. Admission is $32-46; call (510) 642-9988.
-- Heather Wisner