Original opera Marco Polo to premiere in Beijing in May
Marco Polo is an important figure in the history of cultural exchange between China and the West. The original opera Marco Polo created by the Silk Road International League of Theatres (SRILT) will be staged in the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center from May 16 to 19. The opera uses Chinese-language lyrics and English subtitles. It is directed by Kaspar Holten, former Opera Director at the Royal Opera House in London, and composed by Enjott Schneider, director of the German Association of Composers. Master conductor Tang Muhai will lead the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra and famous singers from China, Denmark, Britain will join the show.
Composer and conductor at work
Marco Polo interprets the legendary 13th century Italian traveler Marco Polo and his father and uncle, who traveled to China along the Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road. The opera also showcases the society in the late Song and early Yuan dynasties, and the competition in East and West trade and cultural exchanges.
Enjott Schneider has composed for such movies as Rama Dama, Leise Schatten, Stalingrad and Brother of Sleep. Schneider started to work with Chinese composers in 1997. He has rich experience in composing Chinese opera and is very familiar with Chinese music. He hopes to employ his skills in film music to express his understanding of Chinese elements. He said he enjoyed the production process and was especially fascinated by the magnificent epic pattern, the sharp and complex contradictions and conflicts, the mournful warrior tragedy and the indomitable love and hate. It is very difficult to control Chinese opera in terms of language and tones, but he still managed to get it done. Schneider also appreciates the actors’ collocation and believes that the combination of Chinese and Western actors will turn out to be amazing.
Director Kaspar Holten is well-known for his works, which include Eugene Onegin and Don Juan. They have been staged at the Royal Opera House and Vienna State Opera. British video designer Luke Halls is famous for Miss Saigon, Don Juan and other musicals and operas. Halls has also worked for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major events. With the participation of many internationally renowned artists, the opera Marco Polo produced by Guangzhou Opera House has become international.