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Localized adaptation of Carmen dazzles with debut on Shenzhen stage

China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-01 10:33

SHENZHEN — When a classic Western opera and traditional Chinese culture merged in the southern city of Shenzhen this past weekend, a captivating fusion unfolded on the Guangdong province stage.

The version of Carmen, performed on Saturday and Sunday evening at the Shenzhen Poly Theater, was a collaboration between Chinese and German creators that demonstrated the talent of leading actors and exceptional artists of diverse global backgrounds.

Revered as one of the world's most performed and beloved operas, the story of Carmen has been etched into the hearts of countless spectators.

Coproduced by the Shenzhen Opera and Dance Theatre and the German National Hamburg State Opera (Staatsoper Hamburg), the adaptation retained the essence of the original while boldly innovating with the use of local elements in terms of character portrayal, storyline development, stage design and costumes.

"Through the medium of opera, we aim to build a bridge of cultural and artistic exchange between Shenzhen and Hamburg," says Georges Delnon, artistic director of the adaptation.

Shenzhen is embarking on a quest to produce a series of high-quality operas on its own soil. They will no longer be imported productions, but rather unique, Shenzhen-inspired adaptations that incorporate local cultural elements, he says.

An international, innovative city brimming with charm, dynamism and vitality, Shenzhen presents an unmatched stage for the creation and performance of top-tier international opera.

This rendition of Carmen marks not only the city's debut in coproducing and participating in a full-length opera production with a leading international opera house, but also its first-ever deep collaboration with a renowned institution steeped in history, the theater stated in a news release.

The international partnership, a joint effort to continue the legend of Carmen, aligned with the global context of advanced cultural development and provided a favorable opportunity for cultural exchange and artistic enrichment between the two nations, it added.

The adaptation is slated for performance in Beijing and other cities in the future.


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