Alive & Kicking: Rated R for Rat by Wang Jie

About Alive & Kicking

CS Music has partnered with Jessica Fishenfeld to spotlight her creative efforts to make opera more accessible for a new generation of music lovers.

This light-hearted series gives you a short introduction to an exciting new American Opera each month, in under 5 minutes! The series highlights operas relevant to our modern times, and connects up-and-coming composers with the modern American public they’re writing for. As opera has entered into the fast-paced modern world, these American works are much more accessible and relatable, leaving behind airs of elitism from centuries’ past. Written in English and drawing on modern topics and ideas, American Opera is intended to be enjoyed and understood by people of all ages, colors, cultures, shapes, and sizes!

Alive & Kicking is here to show you that opera is a growing and changing art form, and its creators are telling your stories!


Episode 3: “Rated R for Rat”

This month, Alive & Kicking presents “Rated R for Rat” by Wang Jie. Wang Jie is a compelling, daring composer/librettist who challenges society and music with her creations. She plays by her own rules, and is constantly breaking the mold of what opera is and can do. “Rated R for Rat” wildly re-imagines the myths of the Chinese Zodiac Animals to encompass zany comedy and to dramatize serious social issues. In a post-apocalyptic world, the Zodiac gods suffer a crisis as their human underlings lose interest in reproducing. The Lark, a chirpy court entertainer who dreams of becoming the first Goddess, descends to the Earth to solve the mystery. Through the journey, she discovers her real passion and therefore, revives the world. Thanks you, Wang Jie, for providing us with such a strong, inspirational female character!

You can also check out Episode 1 and Episode 2!!
CS Music Staff

CS Music is THE community for singers, teachers, and pianists. CS began in 1986 with the first issue of The New York Opera Newsletter and later to the award-winning magazine Classical Singer. Since 2003 CS has expanded to included articles, audition listings, and events for both classical and musical theatre singers worldwide! Free online articles and listings are available at