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May means entertainment
By Chen Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-22 08:35

The annual Meet In Beijing Festival always brings the city a sizzling month of wonderful concerts, operas, dramas, exhibitions and activities.

The annual Meet in Beijing Festival is being joined this year by the Beijing International Drama Festival in a wide-ranging presentation featuring more than 200 shows. [file photo]
The warm, dynamic days and long summer nights will be filled with excitement and discovery as performance venues present a variety of shows for different tastes, and squares and parks come to life with street performances and music.

This year will be no exception. The only difference is that the Beijing International Drama Festival will link hands with Meet In Beijing.

From April 26 to May 31, companies from 30 countries will present more than 200 shows from theatre to open-air productions to keep their audiences laughing, dancing, crying or singing.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Cats" will kick off the festival with nine performances at the Great Hall of the People and Sara Brightman will give two concerts at the Capital Gymnasium on May 30 and 31 to bring the festive month to a thrilling close.

Besides "Cats," 24 plays from South Korea, Britain, Ireland, Norway, Germany, Japan and China will be shown during the Beijing International Drama Festival.

The National Drama Theatre of China will present Victor Hugo's "Ninety-Three," Beijing People's Art Theatre will stage "Wet Paint," "South Courtyard at North Street" and the Lao She classic "Tea House."

Beijing Children's Art Theatre has prepared two productions for kids. They are "Tears of the Goblin" and "The labyrinth." The latter work is directed by Meng Jinghui, an acclaimed director known for his avant garde productions.

Peking Opera and other Chinese local opera companies, including the Pingju Opera, Quju Opera, Kunqu Opera, Huagu Opera, Shaoxing Opera, Yuju Opera and Chuanju Opera ensembles will be a major presence in the festival.

Hessisches Stats Theatre, from Wiesbaden, Germany, brings the play "Birthday Party," and Japanese artists will perform "Tachi Nusubito" and "Wisteria Maiden."

The Ibsen Theatre from Norway and Beijing Song and Dance Theatre will perform a co-production of "Peer Gynt," and Frankfurt Opera is collaborating with the Central Opera Theatre of China in a production of "The Barber of Seville."


The concert section will feature the Sound of Music Orchestra from Salzburg Austria, Oklahoma City University Symphony Orchestra, China Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, among many others.

People who love the Oscar-winning musical movie "Sound of Music" can go to the Poly Theatre on April 26 to enjoy "Do, Re, Mi," "Edelweiss," "The Lonely Shepherd" and "So Long, Farewell" performed by the orchestra from Salzburg, which takes its name from the movie.

African and Irish troupes will be eye-catchers in the two festivals. Artists from Mauritius, South Africa, Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Egypt and Nigeria will be the stars in open-air performances of traditional African songs and dances.

China Art Museum will also hold an exhibition featuring African wood-carving, stone sculptures, paintings, woven works and photos from May 14 to 20.

Ireland has prepared a long list of shows and exhibitions. The Gate Theatre will perform "Waiting for Godot" at the Capital Theatre on May 13 to 15.

Famous Irish folk singer Marry Black and other folk musicians will give a concert featuring traditional Irish folk music at the Poly Theatre on May 18.

Other programmes include contemporary dance, classical ballet, chamber concerts, piano recitals and a modern arts exhibition.

Aside from classical offering, Chaoyang Pop Music Week, which is sponsored by Beijing Music Radio, is designed to thrill young people.

From May 1 to 7, a total of 60 shows featuring 230 bands and ensembles from both home and abroad will perform at Chaoyang Park.

Chinese bands of different styles, pop singers and DJs will share their music and join in the free jam sessions with their foreign counterparts.

Talented young hopefuls can also sign up for the singing contests that will be held every afternoon from 2:30 to 5:30.

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