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Puccini's "Gianni Shicchi" to stage at NCPA

05-20-2010 09:04 BJT

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In Beijing, the National Center for the Performing Arts is hosting an opera festival. After a string of massive productions like "Carmen" and "La Traviata," the center moves its next production into the small-theater with an intimate staging of "Gianni Shee-chee."

The meeting with the press took place at the NCPA's rehearsal hall. And the director used the occasion to lead major cast members through one of the production's most difficult scenes... a full-scale emotional explosion. Over a dozen singers presented a harmonious chorus of chaotic quarrelling.

Xue Haoyin, Male lead, said, "What's hard about the scene is remembering the lines. We must memorize not only our own lines, but those of others as well. It is necessary for the dialogues and singing to flow smoothly. The quarrel is meticulously orchestrated."

"Gianni Schicchi" is the best known of Giacomo Puccini's late trio. Based on a story referred to in Dante's "The Divine Comedy," the play is Puccini's only comedy. Since its debut about 90 years ago, it has gained wide acclaim, particularly for the aria "Oh, My Dear Papa."

In bringing the opera to the Chinese stage, director Li Wei has taken some innovative and imaginative approaches.

Li Wei, Director, said, "In producing the show, we have tried to put in new ideas and use our imagination. For instance, in the last scene, the sets include the image of Da Vinci's Last Supper. You'll be surprised to see how this particular image plays a part in the story."

Li Wei has gained a reputation for his imaginative adaptation of western operas for Chinese audiences. And "Gianni Schicchi" is providing him with another opportunity to prove his talent. This time, he promises to fully explore the dark humor in the story.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CCTV.com

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