Chinese history opera staged in Kremlin

21:47, September 10, 2010      

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"Magnolia, magnolia, charming and gorgeous, tall and straight..."

An original Chinese history opera, Mulan Psalm, was presented to Muscovites on Thursday in the Kremlin, making its debut in Russia after performances in New York and Vienna.

Mulan Psalm is a Chinese-characterized masterpiece that combines many artistic factors such as symphony, opera, musical, dancing and Chinese traditional drama.

The libretto of the four-chapter opera not only directly excerpts from the folk poem with the same title that was created some 1,500 years ago in ancient China, but also contains more Western-like, outspoken lines as displayed by the epilogue "Ode to Peace."

"O glorious god of peace, bring happiness and tranquility upon the world, turn it into a paradise of love, connect every person's heart with each other. No war fires, no violence, no bloodshed, no poverty. May peaceful sunshine warm every life, may calling of justice fulfill the entire universe."

The story is based on the well-known Chinese folktale heroine Mulan, who disguises herself as a man to take the place of her ailing father in the army. After 10 years of warfare, Mulan not only became an outstanding general who achieved many feats, but also won her true love.

More importantly, it demonstrates the long-enduring aspiration of Chinese people for peace and harmony in life in the absence of violence and wars.

One Russian girl named Maria told Xinhua that with the help of Russian subtitles displayed on the big screen on the stage, she could understand the story well despite a lack of Chinese language skills.

"The most touching part of the opera is the romantic story between the female and male protagonists," she said.

The beautiful voices of the singers, in addition to the melodious music played by the Russian orchestra, she said, could easily lead the audience into the story, the twists and turns of which took her heart away.

At the end of the play, Tan Jing, the famous Chinese actress, as the leading heroine made her encore hand in hand with the Russian principal violinist, winning waves of applauds.

Zhang Deguang, the former Chinese ambassador to Russia, as head of one of the major sponsors of the show, said the event was a key part of "Chinese Language Year in Russia" and reflected the tremendous achievements between the interaction of Chinese and Russian cultural industries.

Li Hui, the incumbent ambassador, also hailed the series of successful events held within the framework of reciprocal language years between China and Russia.

The beauty of sincerity, which originates from humanity and is displayed in Mulan Psalm, said Li, will definitely help Russians better understand and recognize the traditional culture of China.

Back in 2005 and 2008, Mulan Psalm won international acclaim after successful performances at New York's Lincoln Center and Vienna's National Opera House.

The opera was presented by the Song and Dance Ensemble of the General Political Department of the Chinese PLA. It will later be performed in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city.


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