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China's top opera houses come together for Tosca

By ZHANG KUN in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-17 08:19

Soprano He Hui and tenor Han Peng, who will play the lead roles in the upcoming production, at a rehearsal in Shanghai Opera House. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Cavaradossi is "a dream character for all the world's tenors", Han says, after a rehearsal with He and Xu at Shanghai Opera House recently. Tosca is an opera of sharp theatrical conflicts and strong emotional impact, so, aside from singing techniques, the performance will take lots of experience and deep understanding of the characters, he says.

One of the most loved operas in the world, the three-act Tosca was written by Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924) in 1899, and tells a story of love, lust, murder and political intrigue.

Shanghai Grand Theatre presented Tosca in its 2008-2009 season, in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Puccini's birth. The new production is directed by Alessandra Panzavolta, with set designs by William Orlandi, who, alongside Jesus Ruiz, also had a hand in the design of the show's costumes and makeup. Xu hopes the new production can "resonate with the aesthetics of contemporary audiences", and that the success of Tosca will open a new page in opera production and opera art promotion in China.

"Staging an opera production costs quite a lot, and China has no more than eight opera houses doing the business. If we can pool our resources for some well-established classical operas, such as La Traviata, La Boheme and Turandot, I believe we will be able to create high-quality shows that will be loved by Chinese audiences."



7 pm, Nov 22-27

The National Centre for the Performing Arts, No 2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng district, Beijing


7:15 pm, Dec 30-Jan 1

Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 Renmin Avenue, Huangpu district, Shanghai


7:45 pm, Jan 13; 7:30 pm, Jan 15

Shaanxi Opera House, Yanta South Road, Qujiang new area, Yanta district, Xi'an, Shaanxi province


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