The Bell Maiden

Musical Play for the entire family

by: Nava Semel
Music: Ben Artzi
Directed by: Yael Tillman
Co-produced by Beit Lessin Theatre Tel Aviv, & the Mediatech Youth Theatre, Holon. Opening: Israel Festival Jerusalem, June 7th 2012.

The play is inspired by an ancient Chinese folk-tale.
It is told by a the new Israeli Ambassador to China to his daughter Connie, during their long flight from Tel Aviv to Beijing.
Upset by the idea of leaving home and her friends, Connie rebels against her father's mission, so he gives her a small gong as a present. The gong transformed into a book from which the old tale comes to life. All passengers and crew on board the plane become the Chinese characters.

The bell maker Kuan-Yu is most famous all over China. His young daughter Kong Ge assists him in his workshop. The secret of sounds was handed down to him by one of his ancestors, who had once saved a nightingale from captivity.

When the bell maker's fame reaches the palace of the Emperor, the Empress, burns with jealousy, conspires against the bell maker. She convinces the Emperor to order Kuan-Yu to cast a special bell, the sound of which has never been heard before. If he fails, he will be executed.

The bell maker blends copper, silver and gold, but the first bell is cracked, producing a horrible sound. The second attempt fails as well. In her despair, Kong Ge appeals to the Emperor to have mercy on her father and then goes to seek advice from the Goddess of Fire. The goddess tells Kong Ge that the bell will ring only if human blood is added to the blend of metals.
As the bell maker prepares to cast the precious metals for the third trial his daughter jumps into the blazing furnace and the perfect sound is heard.

Connie refuses to accept this tragic end and she decides to change the sequence of events and create a happy finale. Her own new version brings Kong Ge back to life and encourages everyone on stage to produce its own unique sound.

length:  approx. 55 minutes.

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