“Black threads, blue threads...they glow in clothes. A baby girl named LAN Huahua is born, and she looks very lovely.” LAN Huahua is a popular folk song of North Shaanxi, China, based on which NCPA has produced a new opera of the same name. This opera commission will be premiered on October 1st.
On August 22nd
, the press conference was held at NCPA
In director CHEN Xinyi's opinion, LAN Huahua has an unfortunate experience similar to that of well-known character “Carmen”: It is not uncommon that a pretty girl is admired by men, and it is LAN Huahua’s beauty that brings her a disaster. This is the “tragedy of beauty” unique to that era.
The librettist ZHAO Daming created a new story and new characters for the opera. In his libretto, LAN Huahua is just an unsophisticated country girl who dreams of having a steady life with her lover. Ganyang, a simple and honest shepherd, works for the squire ZHOU. Informed that squire ZHOU will betroth LAN Huahua to him, he is overjoyed. However, when he learns that LAN Huahua has promised herself to another man privately and got pregnant, their nominal marriage then gets him into a lifelong tragedy. Squire ZHOU is portrayed as a perfect double-dealer. As the most prestigious squire and patriarch in the village, he always regards it as his mission to safeguard the feudal ethics. But when he bumps into LAN Huahua, he cannot help being attracted to her, and something evil crosses his mind. But unexpectedly, LAN Huahua tells villagers all what ZHOU has done to her, striking a deadly blow to ZHOU's image as an upright gentleman that he has maintained with painstaking effort over the years.
The composer ZHANG Qianyi and director CHEN Xinyi
The music in the opera LAN Huahua is composed by ZHANG Qianyi, who has combined the folk music of Northern Shaanxi with Chinese traditional operatic elements. It is also noteworthy that the designer team of set designer HUO Tingxiao, costume designer CHEN Tongxun and styling designer CHEN Minzheng are influential ones in contemporary China’s film and TV circles. HUO Tingxiao has partnered with China’s top directors such as ZHANG Yimou, CHEN Kaige and WANG Anquan, creating representative works in the films Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Tangshan Earthquake, etc. CHEN Tongxun was nominated for the Best Costume Designer at the Golden Horse Awards for the costume design in the film Forever Enthralled. CHEN Minzheng has offered styling services to more than one thousand films and TV episodes such as the TV plays Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan, and the films A Simple Noodle Story and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. He also served as chief style designer at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The creative team
Under the baton of ZHANG Guoyong, the premiere will see the performance of ZHAO Lili, YANG Qi, YANG Yi, XUE Haoyin, ZHANG Yingxi, WANG Zenan, LI Yang, HAO Miao, CHEN Guanfu, as well as NCPA’s resident artists LI Xintong, GUAN Zhijing, KOU Jing, LIU Songhu, WANG Hexiang, etc. HUANG Xiaoman will serve as music director.
Photos by WANG Xiaojing