The popular American crime drama television series ‘Breaking Bad’ (2008-2013) inspired composer Sung Jin Hong to write a ‘mini opera’. Hong says: « A week after the series finale of ‘Breaking Bad’, I have decided to compose ‘Breaking Bad – Ozymandias’ (2014), a mini-opera based on the award-winning drama and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s sonnet for One World Symphony’s Addiction program on January 26-27, 2014. » Sung Jin Hong is the artistic director of the New York based orchestra One World Symphony.
On its Internet page the composer Hong shares his first ideas: « 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? It is tempting to fully dive into the universe of Breaking Bad and embrace its elements, depicting moral chaos. Cancer became an allegory for evil for the protagonist in Breaking Bad. When Walt White was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, we the audience emotionally supported him and forgave some of his actions, as they may have appeared to be justified. When the cancer went into remission, an intangible cancer was growing – his hubris and lust for power. Our sympathy began to slip as he transformed into the destructive Heisenberg. At this very moment, the details of ‘Breaking Bad – Ozymandias’ may not be confirmed, but I hope to explore the question that the drama obsessively and hauntingly asked: are we all breaking bad? »