'The Count of Monte Cristo' leads Shanghai Culture Square's year-end program list
The original musical "The Orphan of Zhao" will raise the curtain on the Shanghai Culture Square's 2022 year-end performance season next week. Six stage productions – four musicals and two concerts – with a total of 37 performances will be presented through January.
The Chinese version of the musical "The Count of Monte Cristo" and a memorial concert entitled "The Eternal Dream of Red Mansions" are among the major recommendations.
"The Count of Monte Cristo" is based on the famed 1844 novel of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, a story about fate, power and one man's quest for vengeance.
After premiering in Moscow in 2008, the musical was invited to Shanghai in May 2012, as the closing performance for the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival.
Coming to 2022, the Beijing Performance and Arts Group joined the Shanghai Culture Square to produce the Chinese version of the popular musical. A total of 12 performances will be presented from December 2 to 11 at the culture square.
"The original musical features great story structure and music," said musical actor Ayanga, producer of the Chinese adaptation. "The Chinese version gathers some of China's best musical practitioners, which is totally worth looking forward to."
It has been the culture square's tradition to introduce imported musicals for audiences during its year-end season. However, due the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign musicals have been missing from Shanghai stage for three years.
"Despite the absence of imported works, we have been trying to gather as many quality domestic works as possible so as not to disappoint our audiences," said Fei Yuanhong, vice general manager of the Shanghai Culture Square.
A memorial concert will be held on December 17-18 to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the launch of the popular TV series "A Dream of Red Mansions." First broadcast in 1987, the series has been rated as one of the best adaptations of the Chinese literary classic.
Leading actors and actresses of the TV series will be invited to the stage. They will be joined by soprano Wu Bixia, the Shanghai Opera House Symphony Orchestra and the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra to perform songs from the series. Composer Wang Liping will also attend the concert.
Other programs in the year-end season include the musical "The Orphan of Zhao" (November 11-20), the musical "Love Beyond Time" (December 23-26), the musical "Strange Legend of Tang Dynasty" (December 30-January 1), and composer San Bao's musical selection concert "The End of the World" (January 7-8).