Epic opera film to celebrate famed Chinese composer

Ma Yue
An upcoming biopic about He Luting is a joint production between Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Shanghai Media Group. The conservatory's president will star in the lead role.
Ma Yue

Chinese baritone Liao Changyong will lead the cast in China’s first live-action opera movie “He Luting.” The film is named after the famed composer and former president of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

As a joint production by the conservatory and Shanghai Media Group, the 8K panorama movie is expected to be released in February 2021. 

Liao, who is currently president of the conservatory, will play the role of He. Teachers and students from the conservatory will also take part in the film.

Epic opera film to celebrate famed Chinese composer
Ma Yue / SHINE

Liao Changyong, president of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, takes questions from the media.

Hunan Province native He Luting (1903-1999) was a famed composer from the early 20th century. He composed songs for Chinese movies starting from the 1930s. His best-known works include "Song of the Four Seasons" and "The Wandering Songstress," both composed for the 1937 movie "Street Angel."

He was appointed president of the conservatory in 1949 and retired in 1984. The conservatory's main concert hall is named after him.

"He was more than a composer, but an educator and revolutionary as well," said Liao, who is also the artistic director of the movie. "I’m honored to play the role. He is my idol, and the soul of the conservatory. I hope the movie will help popularize the conservatory’s music and culture to the public.”

Liao was named the conservatory’s president one year ago. In 2017, Liao played the role of He in the conservatory’s original opera production “He Luting,” which was created for the conservatory’s 90th anniversary. The new movie will be based on the opera. 

According to Teng Junjie, the film's director, the crew has been visiting He’s former residences and work places, including his hometown of Shaoyang.

“Audience will get to know how He used music to support the rise of the nation. The immersive sound effects will promise audience a great cinema experience,” said Teng.

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