Composers and their stage works 

Paulownia Rain (Wu-tong yu)

A Yuan zaju.

Bai Pu

Erring frontier general An Lushan is sent to be dealt with by Emperor Xuanzong and so impresses the Emperor that he is pardoned by him and made the adopted son of his favourite wife, Lady Yang Taizhen. Only counsel from Lady Yang's brother, the powerful Yang Guozhong, and other ministers prevents the Emperor from making An a high-ranking minister. An is sent to a frontier command, where nursing his resentment against Yang and being in love with Lady Yang he decides to rebel. On the lovers' festival, the seventh day of the seventh month, the Emperor and Lady Yang vow their eternal love beneath a paulownia tree. The next day she dances beneath the paulownia to entertain him, but in the midst of their joy, news comes of An' s rebellion. The Emperor and his court are forced to flee to Sichuan. En route his guards mutiny, blaming the influence of the Yangs for their plight, and oblige him to have Lady Yang hang herself.

The rebellion is crushed, the Crown Prince is placed on the imperial throne, and Xuanzong thus retires to live once more in the capital. He yearns all the rime for Lady Yang. One night, he dreams that she invites him to a feast and tryst, but he is awakened by the sound of rain on the leaves of the paulownia tree outside. The mournful dripping sound, which remind him of their love vows and her dancing for him, leaves him sleepless all night and so melancholy that the down-to-earth scepticism's of his faithful chamberlain Eunuch Gao cannot forestall broken-hearted weeping.