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Taiwan's Weiwuying to stage three operas this year, starting with 'La Traviata'

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Weiwuying General and Artistic Director Chien Wen-pin conducts Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra for "La Traviata." (Weiwuying photo)

Weiwuying General and Artistic Director Chien Wen-pin conducts Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra for "La Traviata." (Weiwuying photo)

The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in March will present "La Traviata," one of the three opera productions it plans to stage this year, said its General and Artistic Director Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬).

With a theme of rediscovery and creating something new from the classics, Chien recently told CNA that the center, also known as Weiwuying, plans to show three operatic productions, starting with Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" from March 18-21.

Chien, who conducted the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra in the 2016 version of the opera in the southern city, said he is looking forward to restaging the production, because Italian-based Taiwanese soprano Keng Li (耿立) will take the lead role of Violetta Valery in two of the four performances, on March 19 and 21.

This will be the first time Kaohsiung-born Keng, who studied in Italy and won First Prize and two other awards at the 2018 International Antonin Dvorak Singing Competition in the Czech Republic, has performed in a full opera production in Taiwan, Chien pointed out.

In a predominately local cast, Taiwanese soprano Huang Li-chin (黃莉錦) will share the role with Keng and perform on the other two dates, according to Weiwuying, which formally opened in October 2018.

The other two opera productions Weiwuying is planning, according to Chien, are "María de Buenos Aires" composed by Ástor Piazzolla, which will be presented to mark the late Argentinian musician's 100th birthday; and Norma, which was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra with Chien as conductor in 2004.

"María de Buenos Aires" will be a co-production between Weiwuying and its counterparts in Hong Kong and Macau, Chien said, and will be directed by Hong Kong choreographer Helen Lai (黎海寧).

Meanwhile, Chien said he will once again work with Li Huan-hsiung (黎煥雄), who directed the 2004 production of Norma, to stage the Italian opera at the end of this year.

No dates have yet been given as to when these two productions will be presented.


Updated : 2021-04-18 15:00 GMT+08:00