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Chinese opera chronicles historic event of CPC

By Chen Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-18 13:56

A scene from Chinese opera Nanchang Uprising. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The highly anticipated Chinese opera, Nanchang Uprising, featuring tenor Shi Yijie, captivated audiences during its premiere at the China National Opera House in Beijing on April 16 and 17. Directed by Huang Dingshan, written by playwrights Wang Xiaoling and Yan Qi, and composed by Luan Kai, this opera chronicles the historic Nanchang Uprising that took place on Aug 1, 1927. During this pivotal event, the Communist Party of China orchestrated a military rebellion in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, establishing its own armed force with the aim of freeing the Chinese people from the grip of the Kuomintang rulers and local warlords.

This uprising marked the inception of the CPC's independent leadership in armed revolution and the establishment of its own military. In honor of this significant moment, the date of the uprising is celebrated as the national Army Day, and the Chinese characters for Aug 1 are emblazoned on the military flag.

Tenor Shi Yijie plays the role of Zhou Enlai and soprano Wang Lida plays the role of Deng Yingchao, Zhou's wife. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Tenor Shi, renowned for his roles in Western operas, expressed the challenges and excitement of his 14 solo songs in the opera. Reflecting on his portrayal of the 29-year-old Zhou Enlai, he said: "I have about 14 solo songs in the opera, which is very challenging. I have watched movies adapted from Nanchang Uprising and I tried to get close to the role, Zhou Enlai, who was 29 years old back then."

Notably, Nanchang Uprising marked Shi's debut performance in a Chinese opera.

Director Huang revealed that the Chinese opera had been in preparation for over three years and had its premiere in Nanchang in January. The production features 41 songs across 14 acts, offering a comprehensive and immersive experience for the audience.

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