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December 11, 2009

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They're playing your tune Shanghai Grand Theater

SHANGHAI Grand Theater, at the intersection of People's Avenue and Huangpi Road N., looks from afar like a crystal palace with its white, arc-shaped roof, and perfectly combines architecture with art.

The 10-story theater was designed by French architect Jean-Marie Charpentier, who came to China in the early 1980s and completed many famous projects, such as Pudong's Century Avenue and Century Park.

Shanghai Grand Theater enjoys a high reputation at home and abroad, and many well-known orchestras and musicians have performed there, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, cellist Mischa Maisky, conductor Christoph Eschenbach and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.

Opened to the public in 1998, Shanghai Grand Theater regularly hosts operas, ballets, symphonies, musicals, dramas and chamber music concerts.

It has three theaters: Lyric Theater, Drama Theater and Studio Theater.

The Lyric Theater, which has 1,800 seats, is used mainly for ballets, musicals and symphonies. It consists of a main stage, a rear stage and left and right wings.

All these stages can be transformed, raised, lowered and rotated. The theater is also renowned for its acoustics and lighting equipment.

The Drama Theater, which has 600 seats, is used mainly for chamber music. The Studio Theater, with 200 seats, is mainly for performances of opera and musical dramas.

The theater also has a cafe, which is near the box office. A breakfast sandwich and a coffee costs just 25 yuan (US$3.67) and customers have the added attraction of WiFi.

In addition, a shopping center for audio products, called Shanghai Today Audio Square, stands next to the cafe, and a banquet hall named Sky Ballroom is on the eighth floor of the theater.

You can have a panoramic view of the hustle and bustle of city life from there. The business hours of the banquet hall are from 11am to 9:30pm, and a meal there costs from 100 yuan to 200 yuan per person.


300 People's Ave, close to Huangpi Rd N. ("?§°??∞£§????300°"°÷, ??a????°?°??°?)

Hours for visitors: Monday, 9am-11am

Admission for visit: 40 yuan, English service available

Tel: 6372-8702

Tickets for performances:

You have three easy ways to book, group booking (Tel: 6372-8702/6359-8032), book online (, book in person (Tel: 6372-8720).

How to get there:

Metro: People's Square Station on Metro Lines 1, 2 or 8.

Bus: People's Square Stop - Bus No. 71, 112; or Wusheng Road Stop - Bus No. 46, 123.


Make sure you get there on time. Late arrivals are asked to wait outside the theater and enter during the intervals.

Don't buy tickets from ticket scalpers. Shanghai Oriental Art Center

Tao Liang

Shanghai Oriental Art Center is designed by the French architect Paul Andreu, who is best known for having designed numerous airports worldwide, notably Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris and Shanghai Pudong International Airport.

Viewed from above, the center looks like five blossoming petals, which constitute the Entrance Hall, Oriental Performance Hall, Oriental Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall and Oriental Opera Hall, forming a beautiful butterfly orchid in full bloom. From its formal opening on July 1, 2005 till now, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, German Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra and many other outstanding artists have performed there.

The inner decoration demonstrates Andreu's design concept - a return to nature. Stepping into the center, you feel as if you are in a thick forest. The black granite ground stands for the earth.

Porcelain accessories of various shades of brown on the wall seem to be the bark of trees, while the steel girders in the vast cloister, stretching into the sky, symbolize the trees extending their branches. Transparent round lights hanging high and low in the sky are like dew on leaves.

Appreciating music in such a natural environment is a great pleasure. The three performing halls of the center - Oriental Performance Hall, Oriental Concert Hall and Oriental Opera Hall - are all adapted to suit different kinds of performances.

The Oriental Performance Hall, which is designed after Roman theaters, is ideal for soloists, chamber concerts and mini drama. The auditorium, with a seating capacity of 333, is semi-circular around the stage, giving every audience member a perfect view.

In the Oriental Concert Hall, the center stage is surrounded by an auditorium of 1,953 seats.

Baffle boards around the hall help produce the best sound and visual effects for audience.

The Oriental Opera Hall is divided into three areas by side arc lines, which brings the audience the atmosphere of Italian opera halls. The auditorium is separated into two layers with the total capacity of 1,015 seats. The theater is fitted with the most advanced sound and lighting systems.


425 Dingxiang Rd, near Century Ave, Pudong

?°??°‰?°??"?°?425°"°÷,?? ?o?£§????

How to get there:

Take Metro Line 2 and get off at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum Stop. The Oriental Art Center is a five-minute walk away.

Or take Metro Line 4, get off at Pudian Road Stop, and walk about 20 minutes along Century Avenue.

Performance information: (in Chinese) (in English)

How to buy tickets:

(English service is available) You may directly go to the box office in the center (office hours: 9am-8pm); You may also book tickets by calling 6854-1234. A ticket-delivery service is available on weekdays.


You can visit the center for free on first Saturday of every month, from 2pm to 4pm. Individual visitors can get an ticket at the hall, while group visitors (over 10 people) should call three days in advance. The hotline is 137-8896-3100.

"Sunday Brunch Concerts" promoting classic music are held every Saturday morning at 10am. Tickets: 30-80 yuan

The Shanghai Gallery of Antique Music Box and Mechanical Works is on the third floor.

Opening hours: 10:30am-6pm

Admission: 50 yuan


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