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China Times: Political mudslinging and the arts not a good mix

China Times: Political mudslinging and the arts not a good mix

A rendition of Puccini's opera "Turandot" presented by renowned Chinese director Zhang Yimou and staged in Taichung City in late March left an audience of 40,000 deeply moved, but it also invited criticism from some in Taiwan driven by a political mentality.
Members of the audience were captivated by Zhang's extravagant production, but the critics from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gave a thumbs-down to the organization of the staging of the opera.
They used Turandot's final act, Nessun dorma (None shall sleep), to deride Taichung Mayor Jason Hu -- who was instrumental in bringing the show to Taichung -- as having "slept for eight years during his stint as mayor." We think the performance was not only a musical and visual feast for the audience, it was also a rare and invaluable opportunity for local performers who took part in the show to sharpen their skills.
The Taichung City government had previously invited many world-renowned artists to perform in Taichung, including Luciano Pavarotti in 2005 and Andrea Bocelli in 2008, but none of the shows had been condemned by DPP critics.
We wonder if the critics were unhappy with Zhang Yimou's presentation because Zhang is a movie director from China and because the show was a copy of the performance put on by Zhang at Beijing's Olympic Stadium, popularly known as the Bird's Nest.
Taiwan is a mature society, and its people should have the same opportunity as others around the world to appreciate artistic masterpieces, which are common assets of humankind. How wonderful it is for peoples to communicate and understand each other through the beauty of the performing arts.
It is not desirable for people to limit Taiwan's participation in the world's artistic or cultural activities, and it is not necessary to view talent from China cynically.
Exchanges through cultural activities is one of the most peaceful and constructive ways to cement cross-strait ties. If Chinese tourists could be moved by watching "The Village," a play produced by theater director Stan Lai on the lives of Nationalist military troops who moved to Taiwan after 1949 and their children, why can't the Taiwanese appreciate an opera produced and directed by a Chinese director with some magnanimity? (April 4, 2010) (By Deborah Kuo)




Updated : 2021-08-05 13:02 GMT+08:00