Semele to China – documentary on the co-production of KT Wong Foundation and La Monnaie’s Semele at the Beijing Music Festival 2010


One of the most anticipated event of the COC season is the staging of the “East Meets West” production of Handel’s Semele in Toronto.  This production is directed by Chinese performance artist  Zhang Huan. The centerpiece is a 450 year old temple from the Ming Dynasty that he purchased and used as the principal set for the opera. It had its premiere at the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels in 2009, subsequently travelling to the Beijing Music Festival in 2010, the first time a baroque opera was staged in China.  The rather risque direction was rather sensational for China.  Now it is coming to Toronto.  I attended a media event in late April when the press was given a preview of  the set, and it was impressive indeed.  Here is a mini documentary made of the production’s visit to China in 2010, a tantalizing preview for the COC run that opens on May 9. 
Joseph K. So

About Author

Joseph K. So is Professor Emeritus at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, but his first love is music, which he studied as an undergraduate student at the State University of New York. Since seeing his first live opera – La Gioconda with Renata Tebaldi at the Met in 1967, the singing voice became his lifelong favourite instrument. In addition to his longtime contributions to La Scena Musicale and The Music Scene, he is Associate Editor of Opera Canada and a frequent contributor to Musical Toronto.

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