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Publication and Press Releases
2008
October
"Fantasy of the Red Queen" offers perspective on revolutionary China
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     Directed by composer, writer and performer Liu Sola, jointly interpreted by Germany's Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble, the chamber opera "Fantasy of the Red Queen", which features a woman's tragedy about the power of illusion and the illusion of power, will be staged in November at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium.

     Based on the life of Jiang Qing, one of the most controversial figures in the Cultural Revolution, "Fantasy of the Red Queen" is the story of an old lady deranged by dreams of power. It also offers a unique perspective on collective thinking and revolutionary life in modern China. An impressionistic character study of an ingénue climbing up her contemporary tower of Babel, the audience stares straight into naked ambition and witnesses how it eventually leads to self-absorption and madness. The subplot of a money-grubbing nurse, who looks after the Red Queen and is carrying on an illicit affair, sheds further light on the illusions and desires of women then and now.

     "Fantasy of the Red Queen" was one of the highlights at Berlin's House of World Cultures China Festival when it premiered in 2006.

     In this avant-garde theatrical fable, traditional Peking Opera, revolutionary songs and 1930s Shanghai pop converge in Brecht/Weill-like dance numbers seasoned with modern-day Mandopop, blues and hip-hop. All these elements are woven into the story of the trench coat-clad Red Queen (played by Liu), whose name is never revealed. With beguiling video art punctuating and accentuating the sparse action on stage, revolutionary chinoiserie becomes a chameleon transcending time and place.

     Born in Beijing, Liu studied music at the Central Conservatory of Music and graduated with a degree in composition. She wrote music for film, television, the stage, dance, as well as chamber and symphony orchestras. Later she discovered the blues and recorded the first ever Chinese blues song "Reborn" with Memphis blues musicians.

     Founded in 1980 and based in Frankfurt am Main since 1985, the Ensemble Modern (EM) is one of the world’s leading ensembles of New Music. Currently, the EM comprises 18 soloists who provide the ensemble with its rich cultural background. The EM has toured many parts of the world and regularly performs at renowned festivals and venues, such as the Lincoln Center Festival in New York, Festival d'Automne a Paris, Holland Festival in Amsterdam, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra. In "Fantasy of the Red Queen", EM musicians appear in full view, participating in the action – dancing, speaking, marching – in the style of a postmodern, multi-tasking Greek chorus.

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in collaboration with Goethe-Institut Hongkong and Haus der Kulturen der Welt, "Fantasy of the Red Queen" is one of the highlights of the New Vision Arts Festival. It will be staged at 8pm on November 7 and 8 at the Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium. The performance will be conducted in Putonghua with Chinese and English surtitles and a post-performance talk will also be held on November 7.

     Tickets priced at $150, $220, $320 and $420 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for full-time students, senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Group booking discounts of up to 20% are available.

     Programme brochures are now available at URBTIX outlets or at the website www.newvisionfestival.gov.hk

     For programme enquiries, please call 2370 1044. Credit card telephone bookings can be made on 2111 5999 and telephone reservations on 2734 9009. Internet bookings can be made at www.urbtix.hk

Ends/Friday, October 10, 2008
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1010_1

Directed by composer, writer and performer Liu Sola, jointly interpreted by Germany's Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble, the chamber opera "Fantasy of the Red Queen", which features a woman's tragedy about the power of illusion and the illusion of power, will be staged in early November at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium.

1010_2

Directed by composer, writer and performer Liu Sola, jointly interpreted by Germany's Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble, the chamber opera "Fantasy of the Red Queen", which features a woman's tragedy about the power of illusion and the illusion of power, will be staged in early November at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium.

1010_3

Directed by composer, writer and performer Liu Sola, jointly interpreted by Germany's Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble, the chamber opera "Fantasy of the Red Queen", which features a woman's tragedy about the power of illusion and the illusion of power, will be staged in early November at Kwai Tsing Theatre Auditorium.

 

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