Weiwuying’s Flagship Production of Classic Opera Turandot To be Staged in Taiwan After Successful Performances in Europe
Produced by the collaboration between two major theaters, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) and Oper am Rhein, classic opera Turandot has been staged 26 times across Europe since its premiere in Germany, 2015. The production and creative team of Turandot are all from Taiwan, setting the record as the first Taiwan-produced opera to be shown in European theaters. The team of Turandot breaks fixed Western ideas and imaginations towards the East and created Turandot by intertwining dreams of the past and present, presenting viewers with a brand-new perspective. Between the 4th and 7th of April, the four performances of Turandot will be conducted by Chien Wen-pin, artistic director of Weiwuying. Chien will be leading Evergreen Symphony Orchestra, Kaohsiung Chamber Choir, Century Voice Choir, Kaohsiung City Wind Orchestra, and singers both domestic and abroad, to present the premiere at Weiwuying.
Weiwuying artistic director Chien Wen-pin stated: “The fact that Turandot was produced as an international collaboration is momentous. This is the first time for a Taiwan-produced opera piece to be presented in Europe, the birthplace of opera. The performances were positively received and continued for three seasons, each with full-house responses. I admire the courage and trust from our collaborators in Germany and that they are willing to allow the all-Taiwanese creative and design team to be in charge of the new production of a classic opera piece. I am also delighted for the positive results, proof that Taiwanese talents are in no way inferior to international professionals. Furthermore, this international opportunity has also given us perspective into ways professionals in Taiwan can seek improvement in terms of opera.”
Italian master Puccini’s opera Turandot has close to one hundred years of history; there are various editions across the world, and it is a classic work that is repeatedly staged in large opera houses worldwide. The production of this edition by Weiwuying and Oper am Rhein includes renowned Taiwanese stage director Li Huan-Hsiung, stage designer Liang Jo-Shan, new media designer Wang Jun-Jieh, and costume designer Lai Hsuan-Wu, presenting viewers with a new Eastern perspective and creating a brand-new experience of the work Turandot. The performance has been applauded throughout performances in Europe.
Director Li Huan-Hsiung stated: “Three and a half years after the premiere at Oper am Rhein, Turandot is now presented in Weiwuying. When I received the offer to become the director, I felt that we should present Western viewers with an ‘interesting’ show, which includes various elements of Eastern culture within details from stage design, new media images, and costumes. In addition, a new female character with a fresh perspective is added within this presentation as both bystander and participant of the work. The leading female character Turandot is also interpreted as a source of power, hated and loved at the same time by those around her, reflecting contemporary themes. When Turandot was staged in Germany, these structural designs gave Western audiences a refreshing viewing experience.”