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August 11, 2020

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Kunqu Opera inspired by Tang Dynasty poet returns

“The Moon over the River on A Spring Night,” a Kunqu Opera starring and produced by Zhang Jun, is making a return to Shanghai Oriental Art Center on August 22 and 23.

The creation of the opera was inspired by Tang Dynasty poet Zhang Ruoxu (AD 670-730), whose signature work “The Moon over the River on A Spring Night” is rated as one of the most influential poems of his time.

The opera tells a story about Zhang’s affection for a young lady, and hence his unusual experiences in the real and nether world. The opera premiered in 2015 and has been well received by opera fans and reviewers during its national tour.

Apart from Zhang Jun, opera artists Guan Dongtian and Li Hongliang will also join the performance.

The opera is part of the ongoing Pudong Festival of Culture and Art, which kicked off on July 30.

A folk music concert by Fang Jinlong on August 28 is another major highlight of the festival.

The 57-year-old folk musician became an Internet sensation for playing modern tunes, from hip hop, country music to anime OST, with an array of traditional instruments at live streaming platform Bilibili’s New Year’s Eve concert.

Fang said the performance at the art center would be more than a concert. It will also be a talk show during which Fang will share stories behind the different traditional instruments he is playing.

Other recommended festival must-sees include “Mulan” on September 1-2 by Ningbo Song Dance Theater, and Shanghai Oriental Art Center’s original stage play “Garden of the Jin’s” on August 29-30, which tells the story of two Shanghai women’s lifelong association, against a backdrop of the city’s historical events. Peking opera artist Shi Yihong will present masterpieces by Mei Lanfang and Cheng Yanqiu on September 24-25.

Those interested can log on to Shanghai Oriental Art Center’s official site for more information of the performances.

• The Moon over the River on A Spring Night

Date: August 22-23, 7:15pm

Tickets: 280-680 yuan

• Folk Music Concert by Fang Jinlong

Date: August 28, 7:30pm

Tickets: 180-880 yuan

Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, Pudong New Area


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