Cologne Opera House's perfect Chinese curtain call

2010 saw China’s most majestic opera performance, when the Cologne Opera House brought The Ring of Nibelung to Shanghai’s Grand Theatre.

Mr.Jiatong Wu (R1)、Principal Conductor of the Cologne Opera House Markus Stenz and Art Director Uwe Eric Laufenberg (L1)

2010 saw China's most majestic opera performance, and its longest curtain call, when the Cologne Opera House, along with the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra, brought Richard Wagner's The Ring of Nibelung to Shanghai's Grand Theatre. As Wu Promotion's General Manager Mr.Jiatong Wu had foreseen, the production of 'history greatest opera' was a true cultural highlight of the 2010 World Expo, and an important milestone for Chinese international cultural exchange. As the sound of The Ring still resonated around Shanghai, the prologue of Don Giovanni was gently opening at the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

Mr.Jiatong Wu (L1)、NCPA Perform. part Director Zhixiang Li (L2)、Producer Uwe Eric Laufenberg(L3),Christopher plays Don Giovanni (L4) and the artists on the stage celebrate the successful performance

Playing Don Giovanni was world renowned baritone Christopher Maltman, whose charm brought the eponymous hero to life, while the Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra interpreted Mozart's spectacular score perfectly with their rich and elegant playing. Conductor Markus Stenz directed proceedings with great aplomb, expertly maintaining the rhythm and tension of the work throughout, while allowing space for the actors on stage to shine. The performances on stage and in the orchestra pit harmonized perfectly to create a dazzling musical landscape. In this updated production of Don Giovanni, the stage was brimming with paraphernalia of our modern existence. The simple white walls and doorways allowed for the space to be transformed from the hero's luxury apartment to the haunts of his friends and lovers. Multimedia iconography was carefully woven into the production, infusing it with its own distinctly modern flavor. These modern elements certainly will have helped today's audience associate with the 200 plus year old work, though the essence of his Mozart's most famous character remained. In a different time, place and art form, Don Giovanni was resurrected. Throughout the 3 hours of Italian verse and dialogue, the knowing laughter of the often young audience suggested that the modern era Don Giovanni held a special resonance.

The performance of the Don Giovanni on National Day drew an extended curtain call from the National Centre for the Performing Arts audience, bringing the perfect end to the Cologne Opera House's run of events in China. These productions of The Ring and Don Giovanni were an important milestone in Wu Promotion's pioneering objective of international cultural exchange and of bringing the great works of the European classical tradition to Chinese audiences. 

Press Review

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