Image China Concert held on Champs-Élysées in France and at Rome Opera in Italy

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The Image China Concert was held at the Champs-Élysées Theatre in France on June 19, 2022. [Photo/CAEG]

The Image China Concert was held at the Champs-Élysées Theatre in France on June 19, 2022. The orchestra performing the concert was the French Orchestra of Cologne, founded in 1873. As one of the oldest existing symphony orchestras in France, the Cologne Orchestra has performed with many internationally renowned artists.

The concert specially invited young Chinese conductor Qian Junping to hold the baton. As an eye-catching international conductor, Qian won the Gold Medal at the International Conducting Competition in Bucharest, Romania in 2017. In recent years, he has conducted world-renowned orchestras such as the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Symphony Orchestra, to wide acclaim.

The soloist lineup of the concert includes erhu player Guo Kang, pianist Wang Zhiren, tenor Lu Zhiquan and many other powerful Chinese artists active on the European musical stage, as well as French soprano Ermine Brande.

The concert repertoire includes "Ritual Offerings" that highlights the profound Chinese culture, "Song of the Yangtze River" depicting China's great rivers and mountains, "Yanhuang Style" showing the life of the Chinese, and classical excerpts from the Western classical music "Dance of Dionysus" and the French opera "Pearl Divers", which is filled with mysterious oriental colors.

The concert specially arranged works by outstanding Chinese artists who have won the "Cavalier of French Literature and Art", including the piano concerto "Er Huang" composed by composer Chen Qigang, and the famous Chinese and French songs "Horse Racing" and "Praise of Love" performed by erhu performer Kogan and the orchestra.

The concert will land in Italy for the first time on June 25, with a "Sino-Italian" symphony concert at the Rome Opera House.

It will continue to be helmed by the young Chinese conductor Qian Junping, and will feature violinist Lu Wei, cellist Li La, soprano Wang Bingbing and Italian tenor Gianluca Ciappelliti.

In this concert, the orchestra will play Morricone's classic work - the theme song of the Italian film "Cinema Paradiso", leading the audience to relive the classic melody and pay tribute to the artist.

Italy is the birthplace of opera, so this concert has also carefully considered the repertoire setting. The opening song is specially arranged for "Jasmine", which is adapted from the music fragment of Puccini's opera "Turandot", with Eastern and Western musical elements. Its fusion dialogue conveys a beautiful vision of harmonious coexistence. Italian Chinese soprano Wang Bingbing and famous Italian tenor Gianluca Ciappelli will sing "Pamirs My Hometown is Beautiful" and "Nobody Sleeps Tonight", and collaborate to sing the majestic "The Yangtze River", using their music as a medium on the stage to continue the Silk Road friendship between China and Italy.

The concert will be performed in Italy for the first time on June 25, presented as a "Sino-Italian" symphony concert at the Rome Opera House. [Photo/CAEG]

The Image China Concert, a cultural exchange initiative presented by China Arts and Entertainment Group, aims to introduce traditional and contemporary Chinese performing arts to audiences around the world.

Since its establishment in 2009, it has selected more than 40 high-quality plays from more than 30 art troupes in China, and performed more than 600 performances in mainstream theaters in key countries such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. The total number of spectators at various venues has reached one million.