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Italian opera house presents Mozart's works

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-10-28 08:33

Italian opera house Teatro Alla Scala holds an open rehearsal of its production La Finta Giardiniera (The Pretend Garden-Girl) at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Opera House on Oct 15.

Italian opera house Teatro Alla Scala premiered a production in Shanghai on Oct 18, as part of the opening ceremony for the 21st China Shanghai International Arts Festival.

The comic opera, La Finta Giardiniera (The Pretend Garden-Girl) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was welcomed by the audience. Mozart's masterpiece Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute) hit the festival last week.

According to local media, Teatro Alla Scala's presentation was "fresh, fun and stimulating", with tickets for the two operas selling between 280 yuan ($39.6) and 1,680 yuan.

"Shanghai is a fantastic city, and there has been an amazing development in opera," says Alexander Pereira, the artistic director of Teatro Alla Scala.

Having been to Shanghai more than 20 times, he has witnessed the city's growing demand for this art genre.

"In Shanghai, more and more audiences have a better understanding of opera, and I admire them," he adds.

Teatro Alla Scala visited Shanghai at a time when the city aims to build itself up as a "city of opera" and "the performing art center of Asia".

The cost of inviting 250 faculty members from the Teatro Alla Scala is said to have been high. Even with all the tickets sold, the box-office takings still failed to cover the expense.

"This is the first time that the world's best opera house has visited Shanghai. The quality of the performances was also unprecedented," says Wang Jun, president of the Shanghai International Arts Festival.

To ensure its place on the world map of opera, Shanghai is investing heavily in building world-class opera houses, including the newly launched Shanghai Conservatory of Music Opera House. It is a beautifully designed building covering an area of more than 30,000 square meters, containing 1,200 seats, and is located in downtown Shanghai.

Shanghai will still build another grand opera house by 2023, next to the site of the 2010 World Expo on a bank of the Huangpu River, as a new landmark for the city.

Shanghai is not only developing its own opera repertoires but is also introducing many foreign operas to local audiences.

Pereira found the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Opera House to be quite "advanced and impressive".

"I've been to many countries, and this is one of the best theaters in the world," he says.

There will be more cooperation between Teatro Alla Scala and the Shanghai Conservatory of Music Opera House in the future, and the two sides will "explore a wide range of possibilities" to work together.

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