JIANG CHING I, Madame Mao: Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano
JIANG CHINA II, Madame Mao in her 20s,: High Soprano
NORA (in Act 1)
In Chinese Opera scenes: MU GUIYING (in Act II)
ZHI ZHEN, Mao's previous wife: Full Lyric Soprano
AN ACTRESS (in Act 1)
In Chinese Opera scenes: YANG PAIFENG (in Act II)
MAO ZEDONG, Chairman of the Communist Party of China: Verdi Baritone
THE ACTOR (see below): High Tenor
In Chinese Opera scenes: EMPEROR GAO (in Act II)
ANOTHER MAN (see below)
The Accusers (8 soloists: 2 sopranos, 2 tenors, 2 baritones and 2 basses, double in many other parts, including The Committee and Victims in Act 11. They also include Another Man and The Actress) Sometimes these appear as Madame Mao's accusers as at the Trial, sometimes as bitter memories of her past.
SATB Chorus (minimum 32)
8 Dancers (4 men 4 women)
As the corpse of Jiang Qing, or Madame Mao, swings in the cell where she has hanged herself, we journey retrospectively through the events of the life that came to this undignified end. Rejected by her father when she was a child, Jiang Qing sees a chance to prove herself when Mao Zedong, leader of the Communist Revolutionaries, throws his wife into an asylum and takes a fancy to Jiang Qing. As Mao’s policies fail and he descends into a life of debauchery, Jiang Qing takes control, using the brutality of the Cultural Revolution to take revenge on those that she feels have betrayed her. In the end, Mao also rejects her and she is sent to prison where she takes her own life in the belief that posterity will eventually vindicate her name.