Liver­pool ce­ments cul­tural sta­tus with Ter­ra­cotta War­riors

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - China - La Travi­ata Car­men Masked Ball Car­men,” La bo­heme A Seville Don Gio­vanni The Bar­ber of Har­vest, War and Peace, The Bit­ter­sweet,

In­ter­na­tional Opera and Dance Fes­ti­val, an an­nual event which aims to pro­mote opera in the city.

Now, in its fourth year, the fes­ti­val is be­ing held at the Tian­jin Grand The­ater over Nov 9-30, with six opera pro­duc­tions by three Ital­ian opera com­pa­nies do­ing 12 per­for­mances.

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, or Rome Opera House, kicked off the fes­ti­val with French com­poser Ge­orges Bizet’s clas­sic opera on Nov 9 and 11. It will per­form on Nov 23 and 25.

“These two op­eras are clas­sics, and in our pro­duc­tions au­di­ences see vis­ual spec­ta­cles with new chore­og­ra­phy and stage sets, es­pe­cially the vi­o­lent scene in says di­rec­tor Gian­domenico Vac­cari.

As for the other per­for­mances, Ital­ian opera house, the Teatro Re­gio di Parma, will per­form Puc­cini’s on Nov 18 and Verdi’s

on Nov 19.

LIVER­POOL — The Bri­tish foot­ball city of Liver­pool has set it­self the goal of be­com­ing a top cul­tural des­ti­na­tion with the help of China’s iconic Ter­ra­cotta War­riors, in a move likely to boost vis­i­tor num­bers to the city.

The iconic stat­ues will be part of a spec­tac­u­lar ex­hi­bi­tion to be held in Liver­pool’s World Mu­seum in a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Bri­tain’s Na­tional Mu­se­ums Liver­pool, China’s Shaanxi Pro­vin­cial Cul­tural Relics Bureau and the Shaanxi His­tory Mu­seum.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will be a once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity to see the fa­bled war­riors in Liver­pool, NML Di­rec­tor David Flem­ing says.

“As home to one of the old­est Chi­nese com­mu­ni­ties in Europe, Liver­pool is ab­so­lutely the right place for this ex­hi­bi­tion,” Flem­ing says.

“We are hugely ex­cited to be work­ing with our mu­seum col­leagues in China to bring a col­lec­tion of the war­riors and many other sig­nif­i­cant his­tor­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies to the UK.”

More than 180 spec­tac­u­lar ar­ti­facts from mu­se­ums across Shaanxi prov­ince will be show­cased at the World Mu­seum, and over half the ex­hibits have never been dis­played in the United King­dom be­fore.

The land­mark ex­hi­bi­tion tells the story of the for­ma­tive years of the Chi­nese na­tion, from the Qin kings who ruled be­fore the uni­fi­ca­tion of the war­ring states into mod­ern China in the 3rd cen­tury BC, to China’s first em­peror Qin Shi Huang’s rise to power and the legacy of his achieve­ments in the suc­ceed­ing Han Dy­nasty (206 BC-220).

The ex­hibits will also in­clude a life-size ter­ra­cotta horse and ob­jects from the em­peror’s vast burial com­plex, which are a tes­ti­mony to an­cient Chi­nese life­style and the eco­nomic pros­per­ity of the em­pire.

Tick­ets for the ex­hi­bi­tion went on sale on Thurs­day. The mu­seum is ex­pect­ing sell­out crowds at the event, which run from Feb 9 to Oct 28, 2018.

De­scrib­ing the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors as one of the won­ders of an­cient China, Bri­tish Cul­ture Sec­re­tary Karen

Teatro Co­mu­nale Lu­ciano Pavarotti will per­form Gioachino Rossini’s on Nov 12 and Mozart’s

on Nov 26. “All these six opera pro­duc­tions have come to Tian­jin for the first time,” says Guo Rui, the pub­lic­ity di­rec­tor of Tian­jin Grand The­ater.

Since the first Tian­jin Bradley says bring­ing a se­lec­tion of the fig­ures to Liver­pool is a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment that will ben­e­fit the en­tire coun­try.

“This in­cred­i­ble ex­hi­bi­tion will un­doubt­edly boost tourism to the city and at­tract vis­i­tors from across the UK and Europe to see China’s great­est na­tional trea­sure,” she adds.

James Lin, an ex­pert on early Chi­nese ma­te­rial cul­ture from the Fitzwilliam Mu­seum in Cam­bridge, who is also guest cu­ra­tor for the ex­hi­bi­tion, says the ex­hi­bi­tion on China’s first em­peror and the Ter­ra­cotta War­riors prom­ises to be ex­tra­or­di­nary.

The Ter­ra­cotta War­riors are full-size stat­ues that are part of a baked-earth army sculpted by ar­ti­sans over decades so that they could be buried with the first em­peror of China and serve him in his af­ter­life.

The mau­soleum site in Xi’an, a city in north­west­ern China where the stat­ues were ex­ca­vated, along with clay char­i­ots and horses, is a UNESCO World Her­itage Site and is now part of the Shaanxi His­tory Mu­seum.

The ex­hi­bi­tion in Liver­pool is the high­light of cel­e­bra­tions tak­ing place across the city next year to mark the 10th an­niver­sary of it be­ing se­lected as Euro­pean Cap­i­tal of Cul­ture for 2008. In­ter­na­tional Opera and Dance Fes­ti­val, more peo­ple in Tian­jin have learned to en­joy the art form, says Guo. In 2016, 20 opera pro­duc­tions were staged dur­ing the fes­ti­val, and they at­tracted over 60,000 peo­ple.

The fes­ti­val is also at­tract­ing other Western the­ater com­pa­nies to Tian­jin.

For ex­am­ple, in its first year, Rus­sian opera based on Leo Tol­stoy’s ac­claimed novel of the same ti­tle, made its China de­but at the event.

Be­sides opera pro­duc­tions, dance per­for­mances are also fea­tured dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

This year, Pol­ish Dance The­ater will show­case two con­tem­po­rary works —

chore­ographed by the the­ater’s di­rec­tor Iwona Pasin­ska; and by Pol­ish dancer-chore­og­ra­pher Kaya Kołodziejcz — on Nov 29 and 30.

The Poz­nan-based the­ater, founded in 1973, is one of the best-known avant-garde dance en­sem­bles in Poland.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

A war­rior statue on dis­play at the Shaanxi His­tory Mu­seum.

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