TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A performance of Puccini's opera "Turandot" by the National Kaohsiung Weiwuying (衛武營) Center for the Arts, on Friday night (Aug. 28) was the "world's largest 'full seat' public indoor theater performance" since the COVID-19 pandemic started in January, according to organizers.
In addition to selling 3,722 tickets for two performances, "Turandot" attracted 50,000 worldwide viewers for an online broadcast.
Taiwan's Ministry of Culture claimed Puccini’s opera “Turandot” was the world’s largest public performance in a theater since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) was present at the premiere.
A Weiwuying spokesperson said Taiwan's successful epidemic prevention strategy and overcoming production difficulties meant the performance could go ahead. "It was able to mobilize more than 350 performers and is the world's largest 'full seat' (without social distancing measures) public indoor performance in theaters" so far this year.
National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Ministry of Culture photo)
The opera is a co-production between Weiwuying and Germany's Deutsche Oper am Rhein. It is directed by poet Li Huan-hsiung (黎煥雄), while the conductor is Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬), who was previously at the National Symphony Orchestra.
More than 350 singers and musicians are taking part in the show. The Ministry of Culture said 3,722 tickets for two performances (Friday and Saturday) immediately sold out, hence the art center decided to broadcast the show online on Weiwuying's YouTube channel.