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Chinese opera "Mulan" debuts in Vienna
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12:10, August 31, 2008

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The eyes of audience were glued to the stage all through and thunderous applause erupted at the end of the debut of "Mulan," a Chinese opera, in the Vienna State Opera House.

This is the first time for a made-in-China opera to stage at the famed opera house in the Austrian capital, which is widely considered a sacred arena for musicians from all over the world.

"Mulan is an old Chinese legend, but the opera interprets the legend in a brand new style, which is very successful," said Peter Woells, a local musician who watched the opera.

The Vienna State Opera House was packed with audience Saturday as "Mulan," a Chinese opera, made its debut here and won warm applause.

As Saturday is his wife's birthday, Woells told Xinhua that watching such "excellent work" with his wife is an "excellent birthday gift" for her.

In a written address, Austrian Culture Minister Claudia Schmied said "Mulan" would significantly enrich the musical life in the Vienna State Opera and Vienna at large.

"Mulan" was first staged in Beijing in 2004, and in September of the following year it was performed in New York.

"Mulan" is based on a legendary story about a young girl named Mulan who lived in China some 1,500 years ago. In order to retain the family honor, Mulan replaced her ailing father to join the army in disguise as a gentleman and saved her country from the intruder.

While putting together various forms of performance such as symphony, musical, theater and dance, it also blended into the element of China's folk music, singing technique, national costume and martial art, which helped create vivid artistic images on the stage from different angles and perspectives.

Peng Liyuan, a celebrated Chinese folk singer, played the leading role of heroine Mulan, while internationally renowned tenor Dai Yuqiang acted as General Liu Shuang, the hero.

The prestigious Vienna Symphony Orchestra provided the musical accompaniment for the opera. And the vocal support was assumed by the Vienna Imperial Philharmonic Choir.

Apart from prelude, the opera consists of four acts, eulogizing Mulan's courage and her love for peace.

After the performance, Austrian Federal Commission for Opera Houses and the Vienna State Opera House conferred Certificate of Honor on Peng Liyuan and Guan Xia, composer of "Mulan", respectively for their achievements. Dai Yuqiang was also awarded with a wooden medal by the Vienna State Opera House.

The Vienna State Opera House, together with La Scala Opera House in Milan of Italy and The Metropolitan Opera House in New York of the United States, are ranked as the world's top three opera houses.


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