Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Spero News: Famous Chinese opera Westernized for debut in US

Famous Chinese opera Westernized for debut in US

To Westernize the opera, Xiao Bai worked with famed librettist Wang Jian. Together, the two artists developed a new production distinct from traditional "Beijing-style" opera (incorporating instrumental music, vocal performance, pantomime, dance and acrobatics). The Western version of "Farewell My Concubine" captures the framework of a classic Italian opera, but is sung entirely in Mandarin. The performances will include English subtitles.

Will the opera be better than a certain genre of Mandarin songs from the Mainland (such as the propaganda songs for the Communist party, but other non-patriotic songs as well)? Someone should deal with the question whether Chinese vocal music is more limited due to Chinese being a tonal language.

Hm. It's in SF this weekend.
January 11, 12 and 13 -- War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, CA

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