'Egg' theater about to hatch

By Liu Wei (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-06-15 06:50

The National Grand Theater, which looks like an eggshell, will partially open to the Beijing public today.

They will be allowed to stroll around the building and even touch the titanium and glass surface.

However, they will not be allowed inside the 6,000-seat theater as interior work is still going on.

The theater's design harmonizes with its surroundings. A 200-m greenbelt lies to its north-eastern side.

Most trees are of the same species as those along Chang'an Avenue, where the theater is situated, and nearby Tian'anmen Rostrum and the Forbidden City.

Water is a must in traditional Chinese gardens, and it is also incorporated in the theater's design.

The building rises from a 35,500-sq m shimmering artificial lake. The reflection of the theater in the lake, looks like an egg.

It consists of an opera house, a concert hall and a drama theater.

It will host its first official performance at the end of September, said Wang Zhengming, vice-president of the theater.

Wang yesterday also announced the theater's three general art supervisors and 18 members of the art committee.

The committee will work as a consultation body, while the selection of performances will be the task of the supervisors.

Xu Xiaozhong, former president of the Central Academy of Drama and one of the three supervisors, said they would not only stage Chinese and international classics, but also innovative works by young artists.

(China Daily 06/15/2007 page3)

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