Classical twist

Updated: 2011-05-06 07:50

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Classical twist

Soprano Nicola Beller Carbone and tenor Aquiles Machado play the lead roles in the NCPA version of Tosca. Provided to China Daily

An innovative take on Puccini's traditional opera Tosca will be staged in Beijing. Chen Nan reports.

The National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) will present its version of Puccini's representative work Tosca, with globally renowned director Giancarlo del Monaco, as part of its third Opera Festival 2011.

Set in Rome in June 1800, when Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Italy threatened the Kingdom of Naples, the play delves into love, politics, hatred and conspiracy. Its graphic descriptions of social reality, profound explorations of human nature and vivid interpretations of love and hatred make it an undisputable classic.

It will be Del Monaco's sixth time to direct Tosca.

"We want to create the most beautiful edition of Tosca and inject modern vigor into the century-old classic," he says.

"Puccini's music is precise and captivating, always caring (about) the (smallest) details and the overwhelming stream of passions."

Del Monaco has been one of the most celebrated directors since the 1980s and has staged productions in renowned theaters in major cities around the world.

"Each dramatic situation is underlined and lifted to its maximum capacity," he says.

"This is the reason why it arises before us as a flow of inseparable music and dramatic expression. We can say that it almost has a cinematographic presence."

The director shapes the flow of sounds according to this concept. The presentation is calculated to reveal the inner lives of the characters, who marvel at the world's magnificence.

Classical twist

"It is the work of a watchmaker and an architect at the same time," he says.

Performers include soprano Nicola Beller Carbone, tenor Aquiles Machado and baritone Alberto Matromarino, and Chinese singers Sun Xiuwei, Renzo Zulian and Zhang Yalun.

This version of Tosca also departs from conventional aesthetics. It aims to generate a religiously grandiose feel with slightly tilted and twisted stage designs.


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