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Monkey, A Kung Fu Puppet Parable (2023)

Commissioned by White Snake Projects, libretto by Cerise Jacobs.


Monkey, Countertenor, Monk, Tenor, Zhu, Bass, Sha, Mezzo-Soprano, Guan-Yin, Coloratura Soprano, Mara, Dramatic Soprano, Buddha, (TRIO- breakout from chorus: Child Sooprano, Alto, Bass)

Chorus: SATB, Vocal Quartet. Children’s Chorus (Optional)

Breakout roles: Commander, bass,  Father of Born in Prayer, tenor,  Mother of Born in Prayer soprano,  Ms. Chen, Mezzo-Soprano.

Orchestra: Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass (Doubling Electric Bass) Piano, Percussion, Electronics.

Duration: 80 min.

Language: English                   



An ancient stone egg cracks and Monkey is “born.” He ascends to Heaven and eats all the peaches of longevity. He is now invincible!


Buddha challenges Monkey to a game of hide and seek. If Buddha cannot find him, Monkey will be free to continue to terrorize Heaven. But, if Buddha wins, Monkey will agree to be subjugated. 


Monkey takes several flying leaps and ends up in the Valley of the Five Peaks. As he waits for Buddha to find him, he pees on the ground between each mountain peak. When he tires of waiting, he returns to claim victory. Buddha asks Monkey to sniff his hand.  Monkey smells his pee between Buddha’s fingers and realizes he had never left the palm of Buddha’s hand.  Buddha imprisons him under a rock until a Monk on a pilgrimage rescues him. In exchange for his freedom, Monkey will be the Monk’s bodyguard.


After eons, a Monk indeed comes along. This Monk has been tasked by Guan Yin to retrieve the Buddhist Sutras and bring them back to China to spread Buddhism in his country. The Monk hopes this pilgrimage will cleanse his soul for he who vowed never to take a life stood by while his mother, Mrs. Chen, had her husband’s killer executed. The Monk releases Monkey who refuses to honor his bodyguard agreement. As he gambols away, he meets Guan Yin who has a gift for him - a golden crown. Monkey is flattered and lets Guan Yin crown him. As he bounces up to leave, Guan Yin chants a mantra and the crown starts to squeeze Monkey’s brains. He is now forced to honor his agreement or else, the Monk will activate the squeezing spell.


Monkey and the Monk journey west and meet up with two other disciples, Zhu (Pig) and Sha (Sand Demon). They are dogged by Mara, the Evil One, who tries to capture their bodies and souls by presenting each disciple with their heart’s desire. If they succumb, the Monk and his quest for the Sutras will be lost.


Publisher: Jorge Sosa Music

Music by Jorge Sosa, Libretto by Cerise Jacobs,  Tian Hui Ng, Conductor, Roxanna Myhrum, Director, Monkey, Chuanyuan Liu, Monk, Dylan Morrongiello, Guan Yin, Cristina María Castro, Mara, Carami Hilaire, Sha  María Dominique Lopez, Zhu, John Paul Huckle, Children's Chorus, VoicesBoston

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"Sosa’s score was agile and entertaining, as befits such a journey. High points

included the seductive slow number sung by Hilaire as Mara in her guise as a

hostess in a technicolor housecoat, a chilling sequence featuring Lopez as

Sha’s humanity is tested, and a crackling vocal duel between Guan Yin and


—A.Z. Madonna, Boston Globe Review

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