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'Marco Polo' to enthrall opera lovers in Beijing with global cast

By Li Ping | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-05-16 09:15
A stage photo of opera Marco Polo. [photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Marco Polo, an original Chinese opera production based on the story of the Venetian explorer who traveled along the ancient Silk Road in the 13th century, will meet Beijing audience on May 16, 18 and 19.

The new stage production congregates a star-studded lineup with producers and singers from countries including China, Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. It will be performed at Tianqiao Performing Arts Center in Chinese, with both English and Chinese subtitles provided on theater screens.

Set in late Song Dynasty (960-1279), the play unfolds Marco Polo's epic adventure to the East as well as his touching romance with a Chinese woman named Chuanyun. The story starts from a Genoese jail in Italy, where Polo shared his China travel with a fellow inmate. It revolves around trade and cultural exchange between the East and West, filled with conflicts between justice and evil, civilization and savage, and love and separation.

A starry international cast is featured, including director Kasper Holten, who is former director of opera for the Royal Opera House in London, music composer Enjott Schneider from Germany, and opera writer Wei Jin - who is also a Chinese poet. Cast members include Danish tenor Peter Lodahl as leading actor Marco Polo, Chinese soprano Zhou Xiaolin as leading actress Chuanyun, British baritone Jonathan Gunthorpe as Marco Polo's father Nicolo Polo and British baritone Damian Thantrey as Marco Polo's uncle Maffeo Polo.

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