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Beijing Music Festival salutes Verdi and Wagner

Updated: 2013-09-27 07:09
By Chen Jie (China Daily)

 Beijing Music Festival salutes Verdi and Wagner

Wagner's last opera, Parsifal, will make its China debut with the collaboration of Chinese and foreign musicians at this year's Beijing Music Festival. Photos provided to China Daily

Beijing Music Festival salutes two of the greatest composers the world has known, Chen Jie reports.

Yu Long, artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, says music is an art that has passed from one generation to another. "It is those great composers who guide us to walk all the way here. Their music comforts us, inspires us and sometimes drives us mad," Yu says. So every year, the BMF pays tribute to those great musicians and invites all music fans to enjoy their legacy. This year, as the whole world is celebrating the 200th anniversary of Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, the BMF will devote most of its programs to salute the two opera giants.

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"Both are geniuses," Yu says. "They not only created great music but shaped the musical life of people in their countries. Verdi comforts the human spirit while Wagner is the one who drives you mad. His music makes you feel willing to die like Isolde."

On Oct 4, Yu will conduct the China Philharmonic Orchestra in performing a gala concert to kick off the monthlong festival.

Chinese soprano He Hui, Serbian soprano Milica Ilic and Hungarian mezzo-soprano Ildiko Komlosi will sing the trademark arias of Verdi and Wagner's operas such as Wagner's Tannhauser and Tristan and Isolde, and Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, Rigoletto and Aida.

Verdi's fans will have two concerts and three operas: Rigoletto, Il Trovatore and La Traviata.

"Talking about opera, Verdi is one of the top three composers you would think of," says Tu Song, BMF's program director. "Verdi created some of the most beloved operas of all time, from the romantic La Traviata to Shakespearian dramas Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff. Many of his arias are considered the greatest songs ever written, streaming out of opera houses into football stadiums and even the charts."

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