- Language Tips
Tales of love unfulfilled
The National Center for the Performing Arts has made itself "the national opera house" by producing 21 operas since it opened in December 2007. Every piece is an international production featuring cast and crew from renowned European or US opera houses and every piece is a huge production with fantastic setting. Now comes the first production in 2013, The Tales of Hoffmann, by French composer Jacques Offenbach. It tells a love story of the poet Hoffmann and three women. Each of his romantic loves ends with tragedy, and eventually he devotes himself to his art. Director Francesca Zambello and stage designer Peter J. Davison created Carmen for NCPA in 2010, winning rave reviews. The conductor will be Britain's Stephen Barlow.
7:30 pm, Jan 31-Feb 3, National Center for the Performing Arts, West of Tian'anmen Square, Beijing. 010-6655-0000.
- Chen Jie
German composer and conductor Stefan Malzew will team up with the China Philharmonic Orchestra for the first time in a concert, featuring works by Schubert, Ernest Bloch, Debussy and Chinese composer Chen Qigang. Malzew is a leading advocate of making classical music more accessible. Two Chinese musicians - cellist Wang Jian, who was introduced to classical-music lovers worldwide at a young age in the documentary From Mao to Mozart, and oboist Huang Zheng, whose skills have been rewarded with a number of international prizes - will also share the stage, performing composer Chen's Oboe Concerto Extase and Bloch's Schelomo.
7:30 pm, Jan 25. Forbidden City Concert Hall, inside Zhongshan Park, West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng district, Beijing.
- Chen Nan
Cellist Wang Jian.
A-list assembled for fun
To see many of China's current A-list actors in one sitting, look to Better and Better, a romantic comedy to be released on Feb 10, the Chinese New Year of 2013. The film gathers more than 20 veteran stars, such as Aaron Kwok, Zhang Ziyi, Xu Jinglei, Sandra Ng and Karen Mok to tell how a small village in North China embraces the New Year. Hong Kong singer Eason Chan works with celebrated mainland composer Xiao Ke on the theme song. The same stellar cast has only appeared in Founding of a Nation and Beginning of the Great Revival in 2009 and 2010, but those films were both grave epics, while Better and Better is director Zhang Yibai's attempt to make a Chinese version of Love Actually with his clout in the industry and friendship with stars.
- Liu Wei
(China Daily 01/25/2013 page18)