Weiwuying unveils program schedule for second half of 2020

06/28/2020 07:10 PM
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Turandot. / Photo courtesy of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts
Turandot. / Photo courtesy of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts

Taipei, June 28 (CNA) The National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) announced on Sunday programming for the second half of 2020, after the first six months were disrupted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Among the 51 programs which cover 90 performances organized or co-presented by the arts center in the southern city, General and Artistic Director Chien Wen-pin (簡文彬) highlighted Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot on Aug. 28 and Aug. 30 during a press event on that day.

The work is a co-production between Weiwuying and Deutsche Oper am Rhein first staged in Germany in 2015 and then in 2019 at Weiwuying during its opening season. Chien will again conduct the Evergreen Symphony Orchestra for the performance directed by Li Huan-hsiung (黎煥雄), the arts center said.

The headline role will be played by Hanying Tso (左涵瀛), the first Taiwanese soprano to win the national scholarship for solo singers from the Teatro alla Scala in Italy, with a predominantly local cast, according to the arts center.

A few of the programs announced were postponed from earlier in the year, due to the government's restrictions on mass gatherings in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 disease, including an operatic concert directed by Cloud Gate Dance Theatre founder Lin Hwai-min (林懷民).

Titled "Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì -- Love Duette from Puccini," the concert was performed on Saturday at National Taichung Theater by soprano Lin Ling-hui (林玲慧, no relation) and Korean tenor Choi Seung-jin.

This is the second collaboration between the dance group founder and the soprano after they worked together on a 2019 opera production of Tosca. The work will be performed in Kaohsiung on Sept. 20.

The second half of the year will also see the arts center's second anniversary season, which will include Cloud Gate Dance Theatre's "Sounding Light," a new work by Cheng Tsung-lung (鄭宗龍), who took over as the group's artistic director this year.

The Cloud Gate production will first open at Taipei's National Theater from Oct. 1-4, before being presented at Weiwuying on Oct. 17-18 and then at National Taichung Theater on Oct. 24-25, according to the dance group.

Also part of Weiwuying's anniversary season programming is Taiwan Bangzi Opera Company's "Questioning Heaven," which is the group's adaptation of William Shakespeare's "King Lear."

In this production, first staged in 2015, Wang Hai-ling (王海玲), plays a queen for the last time, the arts center said.

"Questioning Heaven," previously scheduled for March, will now be staged on Oct. 9 and Oct. 11.

Ticket pre-sales for the aforementioned performances in Kaohsiung begin on July 3 for Weiwuying members, while the general public can buy tickets from July 10, the arts center noted.

In addition, Chien announced the arts center's first artist-in-residence, choreographer Chou Shu-yi (周書毅), who thanked Chien for the position and noted that he first came to Weiwuying when it was being built 10 years ago, when he worked with the preparatory office to promote dancing to the public.

In his new role, Chou said he hopes to continue working to bring dance to local communities, while encouraging members of the public to visit the art venue.

(By Kay Liu) enditem

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