Olympic theme highlighted at 2020 'Meet in Beijing' arts festival
Chinese and Japanese musicians perform under the baton of Japanese conductor Michiyoshi Inoue in Beijing on Jan 6, 2019. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
With the chorus of Ode to Joy echoing in the concert hall of the National Center for the Performing Arts, the opening concert of the 2020 Meet in Beijing Arts Festival reached its climax on Monday night, kicking off a month-long extravaganza of music, plays, art and cultural activities in the capital.
Through Feb 4, theatergoers and art lovers in Beijing will be exposed to more than 60 performances and three theme exhibitions presented by more than 700 artists from 12 countries and regions. From music and art exhibitions to plays, dance shows and gourmet festivals, the 20th edition of the annual "Meet in Beijing" event will have classical and contemporary cultural elements, as well as Olympic-themed activities, on offer.
The opening concert was jointly staged by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Opera Singers. Under the baton of Japanese conductor Michiyoshi Inoue, Chinese tenor Shi Yijie, Chinese mezzo-soprano Zhu Huiling, Japanese baritone Takaoki Onishi and Japanese soprano Eri Takahashi joined together to perform the choral finale. Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No 9 was one of the masterworks played at the concert to celebrate Beethoven's 250th birthday.
All-female musical theater troupe Takarazuka Revue's The Light of Sword and Love - The Women Who Loved Napoleon will be staged at the Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center from Jan 10 to 12. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
Japan, host of the 2020 Summer Olympics, is the featured country for this year's Meet in Beijing. A wide array of Japanese shows as well as food festivals will be held across the Chinese capital, including shamisen musician Hiromitsu Agatsuma's crossover concert on Jan 18, jazz pianist Makoto Ozone's jazz concert on Jan 19 and all-female musical theater troupe Takarazuka Revue's The Light of Sword and Love - The Women Who Loved Napoleon from Jan 10 to 12.
In addition to Japanese arts, other foreign highlights include French pianist Richard Clayderman's New Year concert on Jan 18, Spanish dancer and choreographer Maria Pages' An Ode to Time from Jan 1 to 3 and Joyful Siberia by Russia's State Academic Dance Company of Siberia from Jan 6 to 8.
The Nutcracker will be staged at the National Center for the Performing Arts from Jan 17 to 19. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
Among the Chinese shows that will also grace stages during the festival are The Nutcracker by the National Ballet of China, contemporary dance So Low by Hong Kong dance troupe Lai Tak-wai and the drama Blessed Family by artists from Beijing People's Art Theater.
[Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
Elements of the 2020 Winter Olympics are a major draw for this year's festival, which will feature snow and ice activities and lantern shows in Beijing and Zhangjiakou.
The 2020 Meet in Beijing arts festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, State Administration of Radio and Television, the Beijing municipal government, and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It's organized by the China Arts and Entertainment Group and the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism.
Joyful Siberia by Russia's State Academic Dance Company of Siberia was staged at the National Center for the Performing Arts from Jan 6 to 8. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
Shamisen musician Hiromitsu Agatsuma's crossover concert will be held at Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on Jan 18. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]
Richard Clayderman's New Year concert will be held at the Great Hall of the People on Jan 18. [Photo provided to Chinaculture.org]