In the Show – 11th November 2008

guangzhou-opera-houseWhile Hong Kong is still arguing over the West Kowloon Cultural District, Guangzhou’s arts infrastructure, unhindered by the need to take public opinion into consideration, seems to be leaping ahead with such buildings as the Zaha Hadid-designed Guangzhou Opera House (above).

However, there is usually a driving force behind major urban development in China. For Beijing, it was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Currently, for Guangzhou it is the 2010 Asia Games, which thecity is to host. Like Beijing, Guangzhou is undergoing a massive facelift in the run-up to the games. But not all Guangzhou’s artists are convinced cultural success can be measured by high-profile top-down projects that may be unsustainable.

Liu Sola’s “Fantasy of the The Red Queen” is an avant-garde theatrical fable, jointly interpreted by Germany’s Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble. In the show traditional Peking Opera, revolutionary songs and 1930s Shanghai pop are brought together with modern-day Mandopop, blues and hip-hop. All these elements are woven into the story of the trenchcoat-clad Red Queen who comes to power by seducing the nation’s most powerful man.

On its opening weekend “High School Musical 3 – Senior Year” took in US$42 million in the United States alone, the best box-office opening ever for a movie musical. Viewers in their twenties or above may be very much in the dark about the “High School Musical” phenomenon, at least unless they have children. But beginning as TV movies, this trilogy has introduced a whole new generation to the delights of the movie musical. In the studio to tell us more is reviewer Gary Pollard.

violinistViolinist Yao Jue has just been chosen to participate in the Hong Kong University Artists Scheme, in which she will work on three projects with staff and students of the university. Tonight she’s on our show with accompanist pianist Cheng Wai to tell us more about the scheme and play for us Fritz Kreisler’s “Schon Rosemarin”.

To see a streaming video of tonight’s show, please click here.

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