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Guangzhou Art Festival to open next month


The eighth Guangzhou Art Festival, also known as Theater 2018, will open on May 4 and run until August 3, staging operas, musicals, dramas, traditional Chinese operas, and other theatrical art forms at numerous opera houses in the city of Guangzhou.

The festival is hosted by the China Arts and Entertainment Group, the Guangzhou publicity office, and the administration of culture, radio, film, television, press, and publication of Guangzhou municipality. Themed "Beautiful Life, Blossom in the City of Flowers", the festival aims to promote theatre culture and develop the artistic tastes of Guangzhou residents.


Artists from Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, and China rehearse at the Guangzhou Opera House for the premiere of the original opera Marco Polo on May 4. [Photo/WeChat account: huachengshenghuo]

There are a total of 57 shows to be presented in 104 sessions, which are classified into four sections, namely "Power of Originality", "Homage to Classics", "Lingnan Art", and "Monday Star Theater".

"Monday Star Theater" serves as a platform for young artists to showcase their creative artworks. The performing troupes included the MEGA Studio, Ji'nan University, Xinghai Conservatory of Music, and Guangdong University of Foreign Studies.

The "Power of Originality" section is focused on original theatrical shows recently created in Guangdong province. The first show of the section and the entire festival is the world premiere of the opera Marco Polo. Sponsored by the China National Arts Fund and organized by the Guangzhou Opera House and the Silk Road International League of Theatres, the opera narrates an exciting saga related to the ancient Silk Road. Its world-class production team convenes distinguished artists from Germany, Britain, Belgium, Denmark, and China.


The Yueju Opera Dream of the Red Chamber will be staged at the Guangzhou Opera House from June 5 to 6. [Photo/WeChat account: huachengshenghuo]

The "Homage to Classics" section, which features adaptations of literary classics from both home and abroad, is expected to be the most striking part of the festival. The Yueju Opera Dream of the Red Chamber, an adaptation to one of China's "Four Great Classical Novels", has been played on end for 60 years. The British drama the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, introduced from the Royal Opera House in London, won seven Laurence Olivier Awards and five Tony Awards. The Russian opera War and Peace, presented by the world-famous Mariinsky Theater, will be staged on Aug 2 as the festival finale.   

The festival will also present several pieces of traditional Cantonese Operas in the "Lingnan Art" section, strengthening Guangzhou audiences' emotional attachment to local theatrical arts.

Apart from the shows, a series of cultural activities will also be held during the Guangzhou Art Festival. There will be dozens of art salons, professional seminars, dance carnivals, workshops, movie salons, and theater art lectures.


Russia's Mariinsky Theater will present the opera War and Peace at the Guangzhou Opera House on Aug 2. [Photo/WeChat account: huachengshenghuo]

The Guangzhou Art Festival receives generous sponsorship from local authorities. As many as 85 sessions have received government subsidies, nearly doubling the number of sponsored sessions compared to last year. The government has subsidized 77,000 performance tickets, accounting for 88.04 percent of the total number of tickets sold for the festival. In particular, the government has added low-price student tickets (80 yuan, or $12.68) to the "Monday Star Theater" shows, encouraging more young audiences to find love within theatrical arts.


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