New version of Puccini's 'Tosca' starring soprano He Hui to premiere in Shanghai

Ma Yue
A new version of Puccini's "Tosca" is premiering in Shanghai this week. Starring soprano He Hui, the opera is a joint production of three domestic theater and opera troupes.
Ma Yue

A brand-new version of Puccini's "Tosca" is premiering at the Shanghai Grand Theater this week, starring soprano He Hui, one of China's best recognized opera singers.

This new version of Puccini's classic is jointly produced by the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Shanghai Opera House and the Shaanxi Opera House. He will be performing the full edition of "Tosca" on the Chinese mainland for the first time.

Premiered in Rome in 1900, the three-act opera contains depictions of torture, murder, and suicide, as well as some of Puccini's best-known lyrical arias. The composer used Wagnerian leitmotifs to identify characters, objects and ideas, showcasing the complexity of human nature.

New version of Puccini's 'Tosca' starring soprano He Hui to premiere in Shanghai
Ti Gong

Soprano He Hui will play the main role of Floria Tosca.

"Tosca" has also been the opera classic most frequently performed by He. In 2002, the soprano made her international debut, singing the title role in "Tosca" at the Teatro Regio di Parma in Italy.

"After all the circuitous and rough circumstances we experienced during the pandemic, 'Tosca' is finally meeting Shanghai audiences," said He. "The Shanghai Grand Theater is like my home, where I made my opera debut in 1998. It always feels great to come back."

He said despite performing the opera more than 100 times in the past 25 years, she still regards "Tosca" a demanding work, which requires not only strong vocal techniques, but also acting ability from a singer.

New version of Puccini's 'Tosca' starring soprano He Hui to premiere in Shanghai
Niu Xiaobei

Shanghai Opera House tenor Han Peng (right) will play the role of Mario Cavaradossi.

The Shanghai performance will be represented by the Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and the Shanghai Opera House Chorus under the baton of Xu Zhong. It will also star talented young singers Wang Chong, Zhang Yang, and Shanghai Opera House singers Han Peng, Xu Xiaoying, and Yu Yang.

"The cooperation between domestic theaters will become a trend in the future," said Xu. "We can share resources, including top singers, which helps to create and produce more large-scale and high-quality productions for audiences."

After the Shanghai debut, Xu and the Shanghai Opera House Orchestra will take "Tosca" to the National Center for the Performing Arts in June, and to the Shaanxi Opera House in July.

New version of Puccini's 'Tosca' starring soprano He Hui to premiere in Shanghai
Niu Xiaobei

The new version of "Tosca" is a co-production of three domestic theaters and opera troupes.

Performance info

Dates: February 24-25, 7:30pm; February 26, 2:30pm

Tickets: 180-880 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater 上海大剧院

Address: 300 People's Ave 人民大道300号

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