'Breaking Bad,' the Opera, Getting Cooked by Sung Jin Hong's One World Symphony

By Louise Burton on Oct 10, 2013 03:24 AM EDT

First, it was an AMC show. Then, it became a musical. And now, it will be an opera--written by Sung Jin Hong, composer and conductor of One World Symphony (a.k.a. "New York's hippest orchestra").

Hong's mini-opera, Breaking Bad--Ozymandias, is inspired by both the award-winning TV series and by Percy Bysshe Shelley's sonnet. The opera will receive its première on One World Symphony's January 26-27 program, aptly titled "Addiction."

Hong is keeping us all posted on the opera's progress at his "Breaking Blog." He writes, "How will I compose this mini-opera? Should I consider having specific characters from the drama? How about setting my music to unforgettable moments from the show? Should I focus instead on Shelley's sonnet, devoted to a single metaphor for the pride and the unrelenting pursuit for power?"

He concludes, "At this very moment, the details of Breaking Bad--Ozymandias (2014) may not be confirmed, but I hope to explore the question that the drama obsessively and hauntingly asked: 'Are we all breaking bad?'"

The clock is ticking for Hong, who had better find answers to these questions soon, or there will be no opera to première come late January. That concert will also hear the music of Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Berlioz; it is one of several programs devoted to various vices that OWS is offering this season.

The orchestra's upcoming program, on October 27 and 28, is called "Temptation," which invites listeners to, quote, "Throw away that raw, vegan flaxseed cookie and indulge in something more...sensuous. Discordant musical passages explore the boundaries of tonality and represent the restless conscience, while others caress the senses with their soft waves of melody." This program will include music of Puccini, Saint-Saëns, Saariaho and Schubert.

All concerts are presented at Holy Apostles in Manhattan. For more information about One World Symphony's upcoming programs, visit

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TagsBreaking Bad, Sung Jin Hong, One World Symphony, Ozymandias, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Berlioz, Puccini, Saint-Saëns, Saariaho, Schubert

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