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October 7, 2009

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'Turandot' debuts at Bird's Nest

Famous opera "Turandot" was performed at the National Stadium in Beijing last night to celebrate the New China's 60th anniversary, under the direction of Zhang Yimou, director of the Olympic Games opening ceremony.

"The Bird's Nest version of 'Turandot' brings to the audience a completely new audio-visual feast with modern and fashionable elements," said Zhang.

Nearly 1,000 performers participated in the opera, including Italian conductor Janos Acs and well-known Chinese singers.

The performance also featured a 1,000 square meter screen and 32 projectors and the production cost 120 million yuan (US$17.57 million).

"Turandot" will have its second performance at the National Stadium tonight and will come to Shanghai next May.

It is not the first time Zhang has directed the opera. He first staged the opera at the Forbidden City in 1998.

Turandot, an ancient fable that originated in Persia but set in China, tells of a princess so desirable that men came in their hundreds from all over the world to vie for her love. A suitor had to answer three riddles and anyone who failed to do so was decapitated and his head put up on a stake as a warning to those still in line.


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