Curtain goes up on the Shanghai International Arts Festival

Young composer Gong Tianpeng charms audiences with the symphony performance of “The Revival.”

The 19th Shanghai International Arts Festival kicks off today with an original choral symphony performance of “The Revival.”

Apart from high-quality programs by both domestic and overseas artists in the theaters, the festival has strived to reach out to the ordinary folks.

About 45 programs will be staged as the main festival performances until November 19. Forty-six programs with low-price tickets will highlight the “Art Space” series, 40 programs will exhibit the talent of young artists in the RAW series, and 55 art-related education programs will help local residents get closer to art. 

The Guizhou Culture Week, the Israeli Culture Week and seven mini festivals will expand the festival’s scope further.

The 25-year-old composer Gong Tianpeng will wow the audiences tonight wit  the premiere of “The Revival” that reflects on Shanghai as the birthplace of the Communist Party of China.

“The music is energetic and vibrant, just like the composer himself,” Chinese tenor Han Peng says. “We just could not help feeling proud while singing on the stage.”

The opening performance will be followed by another six premieres of original Chinese works, such as “The Bund” by Shanghai Chinese Orchestra and “Martial Art in Dance” by young choreographer Zhao Liang.

Audiences will have access to top overseas artists and troupes this year.

Sachsische Staatskapelle Dresden will collaborate with Chinese pianist Li Yundi on November 15, while Berlin Philharmonic will join hands with Chinese pianist Lang Lang the next evening. 

Bejart Ballet Lausanne will interpret “The Magic Flute” through body movements, while the Netherlands Dance Theater will stage six of their best repertoire at the festival.

Theater fans will have the chance to appreciate works by masters like Robert Wilson and Peter Brook when “Battlefield” and “Lecture on Nothing” are staged.

About 60 percent of artists from the main performances will participate in the “Art Space” series.

Visit www.artsbird.com for more information.

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