Kasper Holten makes China debut in Marco Polo
Kasper Holten, director designate of the Royal Danish Opera, former artistic director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, made his China debut with Marco Polo, an opera in three acts by Enjott Schneider premiered on May 4th to 6th at Guangzhou Opera House.
The opera is loosely based on the adventure of Marco Polo adapted by Beijing based librettist Wei Jin who made his debut in an opera. Marco Polo (sung by Peter Lodahl) was caught in the era when the Song dynasty was soon to be wiped out and replaced by the Mongols ruling Yuan dynasty. Marco, travelling with his father and uncle, fell in love with Chuan Yun (sung by Elise Caluwaerts), a die hard Song supporter, who eventually sacrificed herself for the life of Marco. An international cast, comprising singers from China, Denmark, Belgium and UK, sang Chinese with Chinese and English surtitles. In the pit was Macau Orchestra conducted by Muhai Tang.
Marco Polo marks the first commission by Guangzhou Opera House and one of the few examples in China where an international force is summoned up for an opera commission and production. The production is going to be repeated at Beijing Tianqiao Performing Arts Center on May 16, 18-19. An overseas touring have been planned but not announced yet.
The production team also includes co-director Amy Lane, video designer Luke Halls, lighting designer Bruno Poet and costume designer Emma Ryott.