Culture\Music and Theater

Reviving treasured memories

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-21 07:11

Reviving treasured memories

Tenor Li Guangxi, 88, will sing the old song Along Songhua River. [Photo provided to China Daily]

According to the gala's director, Feng Qiusheng, the upcoming show will be faithful to the original version staged in 1964, including dance pieces, songs and poetry.

"The gala will bring back memories," says Feng, who recalls that he watched the show in 1964 when he was 14.

"I can still remember the chorus performed in 1964. Hundreds of singers stood on a tall stage. It was a grand scene."

Feng also says the gala is a response to the comment of Chinese President Xi Jinping urging artists to build confidence in Chinese culture, serve the people and create more inspiring and classical works.

"The gala not only brings back melodies but also carries forward the revolutionary spirit, which the gala embraced decades ago.

"For a young audience, it is a great experience to learn and get inspired by the past," he says.

Another veteran who recalls the 1964 gala is Li Guangxi, an 88-year-old tenor, who is known for his performances in Verdi's opera, La Traviata, Soviet comic opera Arshin mal-alan and Chinese opera, Red Flowers on Tianshan Mountain, he performed a song, Along Songhuaj River, in the 1964 gala.

He recalls it took him two months then to prepare for the show, but though the artists came from different parts of China and despite the large number of them involved the rehearsal process was very smooth.

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