The lights dim. The first sounds are that of water... softly and rhythmically being poured, playfully splashing at its surface... a wake of gentle ripples cascading from each hypnotic sound. As the stage becomes visible, you see three illuminated basins on the stage, with women glowing softly in the reflected light as water dances beneath their touch. And so begins the journey of Tan Dun's Tea, a feast of the elements, a contemporary opera that marries Western lyricism and Asian influence in a breathtaking union. The story of a monk who recounts his journey to find the ancient book of Tea with the woman he loves, this exciting 21st Century opera enjoyed critical acclaim in Tokyo and Europe. With only one previous production in the United States, Tea receives its much-anticipated East Coast Premiere in Philadelphia. Composer Tan Dun, winner of both an Oscar and a Grammy Award for his score to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, conducts the opening weekend, with the acclaimed sets and costumes created for the American Premiere in Santa Fe.