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Tuning into Chinese opera

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2022-10-22 09:32

The NCPA opera production Rusalka, by composer Antonin Dvorak, which features Chinese soprano Zhou Xiaolin in the lead role, will be available to audiences in the United States through 65 radio platforms. XIAO YI/FOR CHINA DAILY

Demand for melodic style, especially among radio listeners, is growing, Chen Nan reports.

On Oct 8, the original Chinese opera, Summer Rainbow, also named A Village Teacher, made its debut on Chicago's WFMT Radio Network, as part of the platform's Opera Series.

It was the first time that the production has been heard on a radio station in the United States. According to the National Centre for the Performing Arts, which produced the opera, as well as the WFMT Radio Network, the opera will be shared on 65 US radio platforms, and will be heard in 333 cities, including New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Atlanta.

A Village Teacher was premiered by the NCPA in 2009, two years after the venue was launched in Beijing.

Gathering creative team members, including veteran scriptwriter Liu Heng, composer Hao Weiya and director Chen Xinyi, the opera tells the story of Yang Caihong, a teacher who dedicated her life to helping and motivating young students living in a remote, mountainous village. The opera appeals to audiences with its touching story, and melodic songs, featuring distinctive Chinese folk music elements.

Last year, the opera, renamed Summer Rainbow, was restaged by the NCPA with a new version. Gathering the same creative team members, the opera stars soprano Zhou Xiaoling as Yang, the lead role, and was performed by the China NCPA Orchestra under the baton of conductor Zhang Yi.

As well as A Village Teacher, seven operas produced by the NCPA will also be shared on 65 American radio platforms, including French composer Georges Bizet's The Pearl Fishers, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak's Rusalka and Hungarian composer Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow.

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