Internationally renowned Chinese bass Tian Haojiang will perform the five-act opera "Poet Li Bai" by contemporary Chinese composer Guo Wenjing next month.
The Putonghua opera won critical acclaim when staged in the US, Beijing and Shanghai in 2007. Financial Times described, "...It marries the native poetic...to Western instrumentation and vocal delivery in a way that remains instinctively Chinese. Its potential has been brilliantly showcased."
The opera is produced by the Asian Performing Arts of Colorado, directed by renowned mainland theatre director Lin Zhaohua and co-written by Diana Liao and Xu Ying. Tian Haojiang, the opera singer of the Metropolitan Opera, will act as the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai. Moon, Wine and Poetry that accompanied Li's life have been impersonated and performed by soprano Zhou Xiaolin, tenor Chi Liming, and Peking opera tenor Jiang Qihu. Flute soloist Tang Junqiao, local conductor Yip Wing-sie, Hong Kong Sinfonietta and Opera Hong Kong Chorus will also perform in this intriguing performance.
Tian Haojiang has sung with renowned singers Luciano Pavarotti and Plácido Domingo in several operas. He was engaged in "Turandot" at the Metropolitan Opera and a new production directed by Zhang Yimou staged at the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing. He also performed in "Macbeth" at Opera Santa Barbara and Fresno Grand Opera and "Aïda" at San Francisco Opera. Tian was nominated as a Principal Soloist for the 51st Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of Tan Dun's "The First Emperor".
Composer Guo Wenjing has been honoured among the Top 100 Living Artists of China. He was acclaimed by the New York Times as "the only world-renowned Chinese musician who never settled down in a foreign country." His works have been featured at festivals worldwide and his symphonic poem "Shu Dao Nan" (Hard are the ways of Sichuan) was selected as the official People's Music Publishing House's part of series "Twentieth-Century Distinguished Chinese Classics". He has scored for more than 40 feature films and TV series, including "Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles" directed by Zhang Yimou, "In the Heat of the Sun" directed by Jiang Wen and "Qi Wang" directed by Teng Wenji.
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "Poet Li Bai" is one of the attractions of "Cultural EAG". The programme will be staged at 7.30pm on December 4 and 6 (Friday and Sunday) at Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, with Chinese and English subtitles. Tickets ranging from $120 to $600 are now available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis). A group booking discount is also available. Please refer to programme leaflet for details.
For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for Internet bookings, visit www.urbtix.hk; for more information, visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp.
"Forum on the Opera Poet Li Bai", jointly presented by the LCSD and The University of Hong Kong, will be held at 5.30pm on November 30 (Monday) at the Rayson Huang Lecture Theatre, The University of Hong Kong. Professor Daniel K L Chua will host this English forum with guests Guo Wenjing, Diana Liao, Xu Ying, Tian Haojiang and Professor Leo Lee Ou-fan. Interested parties are free to join on a first-come-first-served basis. For seat registration and details, visit www.hku.hk/music/events/colloquia/libai.
Ends/Wednesday, October 28, 2009