lunedì 12 maggio 2014

Sicilian opera troupe to be the toast of Shanghai

Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci sold out

(ANSA) - Catania, May 12 - The Bellini opera theatre of Catania, Sicily, is travelling at the expense of Chinese cultural institutions to perform two sold-out concerts in Shanghai this week.

The Sicilian musicians will perform two late-19th-century operas, Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni and Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo, at the conclusion of the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday in a tour organized by the Bellini theatre's former artistic director, the Chinese pianist Xu Zhong. "I have been working on this project for nearly two years," said Xu, who will be conducting both performances. Xu said the tour was financially and logistically tough to organize due to the serious financial straits of the Sicilian opera house as well as the hurdle of transporting so many people and so much equipment from one part of the world to the other.

Xu said three major Shanghai cultural institutions financed the entire project: the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the Shanghai Oriental Broadcasting Group. The Chinese institutions are paying all costs related to staging the Italian operas, including flights, lodging, costumes, scenery, and stipends. "I will never cease to be grateful to them for the financial strain," said Xu. 

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