Posted by: mulrickillion | October 13, 2011

Sun Yat-sen sings in Hong Kong


By Kent Ewing, Asia Times Online, Oct 14, 2011 —

HONG KONG – When the much-anticipated opera Dr Sun Yat-sen makes its world premiere tonight at the Hong Kong Cultural Center, there may be more talk about politics than music during the intermission.

Not that the music won’t be good. A preview of the first of its three acts received warm reviews in New York last May, and the talented Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra is up to the daunting challenge of playing the score – originally written for Western instruments – on traditional Chinese ones. Indeed, in the end, this rare example of musical transliteration could amount to an operatic tour de force.

But we will have to wait until Friday for reviews of the opera’s musical merit. Suffice it to say, however, that it is already a political flop.

The opera – the result of a collaboration between New York-based composer Huang Ruo, a native of Hainan, and Hong Kong librettist Candace Chong – is intended to honor the centenary of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, led by Sun, that brought to an end to 2,000 years of imperial rule in China.

It was slated to premiere on September 30 at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA). At the last moment, however, somebody pulled the plug, replacing the Sun opera with a more politically correct work, Chinese Orphan, whose primary theme is self-sacrifice for the greater good. . . .

Asia Times Online: Sun Yat-sen sings in Hong Kong


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