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British children's opera to debut in Beijing

(Xinhua)

11:11, September 26, 2012

LONDON, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- The much-loved children's opera Noye's Fludde by British famous musician Benjamin Britten will be staged in Beijing in October.

Co-produced by the KT Wong Foundation and Northern Ireland Opera, the performance will mark the first time that an opera by Britten is performed to an audience in China.

The English composer, conductor and pianist is one of the central figures of the 20th century British classical music. One of his works famous in China is the "Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra."

Commenting on the tour to China, Lady Linda Wong Davies, founder of The KT Wong Foundation said: "Noye's Fludde merges the traditional with the contemporary to celebrate both Chinese and Western culture."

"We are thrilled to be a part of the prestigious Beijing Music Festival and are proud to be bringing the first-ever Benjamin Britten opera to China," she added.

The opera's conductor Nicholas Chalmers said, "Noye's Fludde is a perfect introduction to the work of Benjamin Britten.

"The music is charming and very accessible, and it suits the simplicity of the story of Noah and the Flood really well. I'm sure that audiences of all ages will like what they hear," Chalmers added.

The KT Wong Foundation said the opera uses the finest Chinese craftsmanship, with the costumes and props presenting a joint collaboration between British and Chinese designers, exploring many of China's rich artisan traditions, such as traditional paper-making, kites and lanterns.

In the performance, children will parade nearly life-size paper animal lanterns and kites, all of which have been handcrafted in the town of Weifang in east China's Shandong province.

The tale of the opera will be brought to life by a huge chorus of over 80 school children dressed in spectacular animal costumes, alongside professional opera singers and musicians, according to the foundation.

A highlight will include a performance from the award winning National Children's Choir of China, famed for their participation in the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The opera is scheduled to be performed at the Orange Hall, Sanlitun Village, as part of the Beijing Music Festival.
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