A new season of stage masterpieces

Shanghai Grand Theater is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a lot on show for everyone.
Ti Gong

A new production of "Aida" by Shanghai Opera House and Shanghai Grand Theater will be presented in the new season.

Shanghai Grand Theater, a city landmark, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a rich program of performances in September.

The theater recently announced its 2017-18 season themed “Be Enlightened.”

The season of more than 160 programs will be highlighted by a “top 10” list featuring such big names as the Mariinsky Theater, Dans Theater from the Netherlands, and Zhang Yimou who directed the Chinese movie “Red Sorghum” and the opening ceremony of 2008 Beijing Olympics.

“The top 10 list is actually the ‘you-should-not-miss’ list. We hope that can help some of our audience select programs more easily,” says Zhang Xiaoding, general manager of Shanghai Grand Theater.

The list includes Verdi’s “Aida” by Shanghai Opera House, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “The Tsar’s Bride” by the Bolshoi Theater, ballet and symphony concert “Cinderella” by the Mariinsky Theater, “Shoot the Moon” by the Nederlands Dans Theater, “Homage to Nijinsky” by Les Siecles and Compagnie Association du 48, “The Palace of Eternal Youth” by Shanghai Kunqu Opera House, Moliere’s “Trissotin ou Les Femmes Savantes” by La Criee-Theater National de Marseille, the 2018 New Year’s Concert conducted by Franz Welser-Most, concert of Danish National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fabio Luisi, and Zhang Yimou’s “2047 Apologue” featuring a combination of high-tech elements and ancient Chinese art. 

“Aida” to be staged this time is a new production by Shanghai Opera House and Shanghai Grand Theater, starring Chinese soprano He Hui who played Aida in the Italian version that was staged at Shanghai Grand Theater 20 years ago.

“I still clearly remember playing Aida at Shanghai Grand Theater back then,” says He. “It was the China premiere of Aida, and it was also the first important role for me. After playing Aida so many times throughout the world, I am much excited to play it again at where I started.”

Apart from common series featuring classic music, opera, theater, dance and Chinese opera, three new program series have been added to the new season, themed “On the Silk Road,” “Bravo! China” and “Arts Now,” which respectively feature artists from the Silk Road countries, an original Chinese production and innovative crossover performance.

The past 20 years has witnessed the development of Shanghai Grand Theater and the growth of the local cultural industry, says Zhang, hoping that the theater will keep on playing its role in making Shanghai a better city.

“Art and culture are the unsung driving force behind the development of every city,” Zhang says. “It confers on the city a richer historical context. The multi-faceted culture of Shanghai has its influence imprinted on every aspect of life, every day, everywhere.

“It is the unbroken input and innovation in cultural affairs in the past years that has given Shanghai a distinctive charm. Tradition and innovation have become the eternal theme of this growing city,” she concludes.

Visit www.shgtheatre.com for more information.

Ti Gong

“Homage to Nijinsky" by Les Siecles and Compagnie Association du 48

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