Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 15 News List

Fusion spirit at its best


Beijing opera star Wei Hai-min pushes her own limits with a hybrid performance mixing Beijing opera, classical music and poetry.

Photo: courtesy of NTSO

A respected Beijing opera virtuoso known for breaking conventions, Wei Hai-min (魏海敏) is again pushing the ancient art form's boundaries, this time in collaboration with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra (NTSO, 國立台灣交響樂團) and famed Hong Kong-born, Taiwan-based composer Chung Yiu-kwong (鍾耀光). The pair has created a fusion performance that mixes Beijing opera, symphonic music and contemporary poetry.

With an aptitude for adapting traditional sounds to modern approaches and sensibilities - demonstrated in an oeuvre of orchestra and chamber music, traditional Chinese music, contemporary musicals and Taiwanese opera - Chung has taken up the challenge of wedding Beijing operatic elements with Western symphonic music. The original composition entitled A Symphonic Poem of Beijing Opera (京劇交響詩) had its world-premiere in Taipei yesterday. There will be a free performance tomorrow night in Taichung City. The organizers aim to appeal to contemporary audiences who can enjoy the performance even if they don't understand the music forms used.

In Chung's new pieces, Xi Shi (西施) and The Anecdotal Biography of Yang Tai-chen (楊太真外傳), Wei will use her vocal prowess and refined body language to portray two Chinese beauties: Xi Shi and Yang Gui-fei (楊貴妃).

Performance notes

What: New Sounds of Beijing Opera


When: Tomorrow at 7:30pm

Where: Fulfillment Amphitheatre (圓滿戶外劇場) at Wen-Hsin Forest Park (文心森林公園) at the intersection of Hsiangshang Rd (向上路) and Wenhsin Rd (文心路) in Taichung City (台中市)

Tickets: The performance is free

Information: Visit or call (04) 2339-1141

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