The story appears on

Page B3

January 30, 2015

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature » Art and Culture

Familiar songs as ’60s film to stage as opera

MEMORIES of the 1960s will be revived among audiences in Shanghai as an old movie will be restaged in the form of an opera.

Songs that once lingered in almost every Chinese person’s mind such as “Why Is the Flower So Red,” “In Memory for Comrade in Arms” and “Snow Lotus on Iceberg” will all be heard again when the opera version of “Visitors on the Icy Mountain” reaches Shanghai Culture Square on February 11.

The namesake movie, produced in 1963, told a story about frontier guards in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Apart from the heroic figures, six songs with Tajik characteristics also impressed generations of Chinese. In addition to the three mentioned above, others include “The Tajik Eagles,” “The Sandstorm in the Gobi Desert” and “The Song of Plateau.”

“The opera version will largely preserve the original figures, lines and melodies, while enriching the music part,” says Chen Xinyi, director of the opera.

Composing new songs while keeping the music consistent with the old songs is a major task for composer Lei Lei, who has contributed to original Chinese operas such as “Xi Shi” and “The Orphan of Zhao.”

She is also the daughter of composer Lei Zhenbang, who made the music for the movie “Visitors on the Icy Mountain.” Aria, duet and choirs are all used in the opera to depict conflicts, while the six original songs play theme roles.

Though as opera, some folk vocal characteristics are used by the singers to make the songs more Chinese.

Lots of effort has been made to inject the important symbols in the movie to the stage, such as the crystal iceberg for the pure land, the red flower for friendship and romance, upstanding white poplar for the young soldiers, and flying eagles for the brave Tajik people.

Whirling snow, howling wind and horrible snowslides will also enliven the stage with the help of lighting designer Vinicio Cheli and multimedia designer Sergio Metalli.

“‘Visitors on the Icy Mountain’ is definitely a classic, with songs taking root among Chinese for more than half a century,” says director Chen. “It is always touching to see audiences humming the songs together with the performers on stage.”

The opera was staged at the National Grand Theater in Beijing in December, with average attendance over 95 percent of capacity through the six performances.


Date: February 11, 7pm

Address: 597 Fuxing Rd M.

Tickets: 80-680 yuan

Tel: 6473-9000, 6472-6000


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend