China Shanghai International Arts Festival to return with increased scale
The 22nd China Shanghai International Arts Festival has announced its upcoming programs. Making a return after three years of absence because of COVID-19, this year's festival from October 15 to November 15 will present some 400 performances, exhibitions and artistic activities, a 20 percent increase from previous editions.
An open-air gala concert by German conductor Christoph Eschenbach and the CSIAF Orchestra at Shanghai Exhibition Center Fountain Square on October 14 will raise the curtain for the festival.
Opening performances also include the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe's "The Peony Pavilion" on October 15, and an "Ode to the Silk Road" multi-media concert on October 19 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inception of the Belt and Road Initiative.
World famous artists, performers and troupes who will visit Shanghai during the one-month festival include Russian conductor Valery Gergiev and artists from the Mariinsky Theatre; sopranos Angela Gheorghiu and Anna Netrebko; Zubin Mehta and the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra; the American Ballet Theater; erhu master Jiang Jianhua; and the Cloud Gate Dance Theater from Taiwan.
Among the 79 stage productions to be performed, 45 will be from overseas. Thirteen performances will be making their world debuts, and another three will be performed for Asian audiences for the first time.
There will be more than 20 exhibitions and art fairs taking place around the city during the festival. Emerging Chinese artists will continue to be offered stage opportunities under the festival's Rising Artists' Works (RAW) project.
The festival will close with concerts by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of conductor Lahav Shani on October 14 and 15 at the Shanghai Grand Theater.
"Shanghai's art and culture market experienced encouraging recovery this year," said Fang Shizhong, director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism. "The China Shanghai International Arts Festival will be a strong attraction for audiences from around the world."
According to Fang, Shanghai hosted over 22,000 commercial performances and attracted near 12 million theatergoers in the first half of this year – a 13.2 percent and 25 percent increase, respectively, from 2019.