MYTH­I­CAL TALES IN THE SPOT­LIGHT

China Daily (Canada) - - SHANGHAI -

In line with the city’s ef­forts to pro­mote Chi­nese cul­ture, this year’s China Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val kicked off with an orig­i­nal pro­duc­tion about how the world was cre­ated ac­cord­ing to lo­cal folk­lore a myth­i­cal theme and was cre­ated by in­ter­na­tion­ally-ac­claimed Chi­nese com­poser Ye Xiao­gang to re­flect and show­case the creative ideas in con­tem­po­rary China’s mu­sic scene. Ac­cord­ing to the fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers, the move to have such a pro­duc­tion open the fes­ti­val falls in line with the city’s ef­forts over the past few years to use mythol­ogy to pro­mote Chi­nese cul­ture to global au­di­ences. Dur­ing the news con­fer­ence for the produ pro­duc­tion which was held at the Shang Shang­hai Sym­phony Hall on Oct 17, Ye said that the cre­ation of this sym­phony s has ful­filled his life- l long in­ter­est in Chi­nese myt mythol­ogy. “I have had this spe­cial in­ter­est est in an­cient Chi­nese mythol­ogy ogy as early as 40 years ago, but at that time I didn’t ac­quire suffi suf­fi­cient tech­niques, and wasn’t ca­pab ca­pa­ble of deal­ing with such a big su sub­ject,” said the 63-year-old. “Now I am greatly hon­ored to make my con­tri­bu­tions to the cul­ture of Shang­hai and China.” The sym­phony of Hid­den Tapestries — Myths of Cre­ation

The sym­phony be­gins with the char­ac­ter Pan Gu sep­a­rat­ing heaven from earth to cre­ate the world be­fore Nyu Wa molds hu­man be­ings af­ter her own form and gives them life. It also tells about China’s first mar­i­tal cri­sis, when Chang E steals a mag­i­cal po­tion of im­mor­tal­ity from her hus­band Hou Yi and flies to the moon.

Ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese folk­lore, God gave birth to 10 sons that be­came the suns and they would take turns to rise in or­der to bring warmth to the earth. But in the event of a dis­as­ter, all 10 sib­lings would unite, scorch­ing the earth with over­whelm­ing heat.

When this hap­pened, it was Hou Yi who saved the world by shoot­ing down nine of the suns.

“All of these were myth­i­cal tales that con­tained the as­pi­ra­tions and philo­soph­i­cal ideas of the Chi­nese peo­ple,” Chen said. “I want to speak about the na­tional spirit of the Chi­nese na­tion in the past 5,000 years.”

The pro­duc­tion fea­tures sea­soned Chi­nese vo­cal artists such as tenor Shi Yi­jie, bass Shen Yang, and mezzo so­prano Zhu Huil­ing.

“They are among China’s finest mu­si­cians and al­most all of them were ei­ther born or ed­u­cated in Shang­hai,” said Ye of the cast.

Aside from Hid­den Tapestries — Myths of Cre­ation, 22 other new pro­duc­tions will be mak­ing their de­but at the CSIAF this year. In the past few years, a grow­ing num­ber of com­pa­nies and or­ches­tras from home and abroad have cho­sen to pre­miere their cre­ations at the fes­ti­val.

“One of the cri­te­ria to mea­sure the suc­cess and in­flu­ence of an art fes­ti­val is its at­trac­tive­ness to the in­ter­na­tional art scene. When you can con­vince im­por­tant artists to make their de­but or pre­miere their pro­duc­tions at the fes­ti­val, it shows their re­spect, trust and love for your event,” said Wang.

This year, the Lucerne Fes­ti­val Or­ches­tra made its de­but in Shang­hai. Founded in 1938, the fes­ti­val has been one of the most cel­e­brated events in the clas­si­cal mu­sic scene, at­tract­ing 110,000 vis­i­tors to the quiet Switzer­land ev­ery year.

Led by mae­stro con­duc­tor Ric­cardo Chailly, the Lucerne Fes­ti­val Or­ches­tra was in Shang­hai from Oct 18 to 22 and com­prised five con­certs, in­clud­ing an out­door per­for­mance at the Gongqing For­est Park. city in

“We are al­ways on a tight sched­ule on tour,” Chailly said. “This is the first time we stayed for a whole week in a city. We got to en­joy not only mu­sic­mak­ing, but also get­ting to know the city, which is so im­pres­sive, and much im­proved from 20 years ago when I first came.”

PHO­TOS PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Ac­claimed Chi­nese com­poser Ye Xiao­gang leads the or­ches­tra as they per­form the open­ing show of this year’s China Shang­hai In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val.

Above: The sym­phony Hid­denTapestries—Myth­sofCreation fea­tures many sea­soned vo­cal artists and mu­si­cians. Be­low: The Lucerne Fes­ti­val Or­ches­tra makes its de­but in Shang­hai at this year’s CSIAF.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.