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February 5, 2012

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Celebrate Valentine's Day with music

CONCERT stages around Shanghai will be filled with numerous performances featuring romance and love for Valentine's Day. The list includes a multimedia piano concert, a classical concert, a jazz show and some pop music concerts.

Chinese pianist Song Siheng brings his multimedia piano concert "Nodame Cantabile" to Shanghai Concert Hall.

"Nodame Cantabile" is a Japanese TV series popular for its romantic plot and wonderful recitals of Beethoven and Chopin. It was adapted by Song and first staged in 2009.

Classic music pieces like Beethoven's "Piano Sonata No. 8" ("Pathetique"), Debussy's "Deux Arabesques No. 1 in C Major" and "La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin," Chopin's "Etude in E Major" and "Etude in C Sharp Minor," Liszt's "Feux Follets" and Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" will all be performed.

A big screen will display scenes from the TV series while Song tickles the ivories.

Multimedia concerts may be the future for classical music, according to Song, who says fast-developing visual technology easily capture the attention of audiences. A piano and a musician alone may not be enough to satisfy many people today, he says, though purists reject the idea.

The success of "Nodame Cantabile" also inspired Song to do another multimedia piano concert titled "Chopin et l'Amour" in 2010.

It was the story of the nine-year love affair between Chopin and French writer George Sand.

"We are trying to open the gate wider to attract a larger audience, but we are not lowering the threshold," Song says. "Great classical music and an excellent performance are still the focus of the concert."

Meanwhile, Chinese soprano Li Xiuying, tenor Yu Yongzhao, baritone Ma Xingzhi and soprano Li Xin will cooperate with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra for several classic opera arias and musicals.

The "Everlasting Valentine's Day Concert" will be staged at the Concert Hall of the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.

Arias from three classic operas -- "Le Nozze di Figaro," "Gianni Schicchi" and "Madam Butterfly" - will be performed.

Romantic jazz songs will be presented at the "Azure-Valentine's Day Concert" at the Performance Hall of the same venue.

Shanghai Hailing Jazz Band will play popular songs like "Easy Love" and "Love Motto."

Established in 2006 by popular jazz singer Ji Xiaolan, the band aims to tell a story through jazz. The band always plays jazz classics and popular Chinese jazz songs.

Also, Taiwanese ballad queen Fish Leong will give a performance at Mercedes-Benz Arenawhile Tiger Huang will perform at Shanghai Grand Stage.

Other events for the romantic day
? Singles' party at Joy City
Joy City, a popular destination for fashionable young people, will host a series of love events in this sweet season of love.
Singles are invited to take part in eight-minute speed dating events at two singles' parties on February 11-12. Every participant is expected to have 15-20 one-on-one "dates" that last eight minutes each. If both feel there is chemistry, they can exchange their contact numbers.
Young couples can also join a hilarious "pillow war" game at 7pm on February 18 to win surprising gifts.
Date: February 11-12, 2-5pm
Venue: Joy City, 166 Xizang Rd N.
Tel: 3633-7676 (registration is also available at

? Singles party at MJ Club
MJ Club will organize two singles' parties on the evenings of February 11 and 14 for those falling in love after casual talks and interactive games. There will also be dance performance and lucky draws.
Date: February 11, 14, 8:30pm
Venue: MJ Club, 575 Zhongshan Rd E2
Admission: 120-150 yuan
Tel: 5150-1008, 150-0188-3359
? DIY cake competition
Lovers who want to make something on their own for that special day can join a DIY cake competition on February 12. They can incorporate their creativity, imagination and love stories into the sweet cakes.
Date: February 12, 1:30pm
Admission: Free
Online registration is available at

? "Era" Valentine's show
The multimedia spectacular "Era - Intersection of Time" will offer a memorable Valentine's night for lovers. A romantic "proposal" section will be specially added to the performance on the Valentine's Day.
Lovers are encouraged to speak out their love on stage. Those who purchase tickets for "Era" on that special day will also receive a gift.
Date: February 14, 7:15pm
Venue: Shanghai Circus World, 2266 Gonghexin Rd
Tickets: 80-580 yuan
Tel: 962-388, 5665-6622, 6652-5468

? Penguin wedding show
Visitors to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium from February 10 to 14 can enjoy special penguin wedding shows. The penguin couples, clad in wedding dress and suits, will "interact" with visitors by sending them candies and chocolates.
During the show visitors can learn about the life and habits of penguins as well as the importance of protecting marine creatures.

Date: February 10-14, 9am-6pm
Venue: Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, 1388 Lujiazuihuan Rd, Pudong
Tickets: 120 yuan for adults, 80 yuan for children
Tel: 5877-9988


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