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Diverse arts festival brings the world to Beijing

2013-04-19 17:45 ChineseTime

A scene from Beijing People's Art Theater's drama White Deer Plain.

There are not many chances to hear Jose Carreras sing in Chinese, but Beijing audiences are about to get a rare opportunity. The tenor will perform Chinese song My Beijing, My Home on April 27 at the National Center for the Performing Arts.

His concert will kick off the 13th Meet in Beijing Arts Festival, which runs until May 30.

According to Zhang Yu, president of China Arts and Entertainment Group, which presents the festival, Carreras is practicing his Chinese in preparation for the concert.

"Compared with 13 years ago when Meet in Beijing started, both China and the world have changed a lot," Zhang says. "China has become closer to the world, and that is showcased in the festival."

Over 60 art troupes from more than 20 countries will perform some 50 indoor and 100 outdoor shows, as well as putting on many exhibitions and educational events.

A diverse festival, the 2013 Meet in Beijing (www.meetinbeijing.org.cn) will present many performances, including a vocal recital by soprano Renee Fleming, a concert by the Horn Orchestra of Russia, drama Scoundrel Vs Angel, dance drama Water Language, and Chinese Minority Art Exhibition.

Jose Carreras will sing in Chinese at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing.

A special section of the festival will be the Latin American Arts Season, which will showcase art from 18 Latin American countries, including Uruguay, Mexico and Cuba.

Latin American Arts Season is just one of the mini festivals within the festival. Others are the Strawberry Music Festival, Chaoyang Pop Music Festival, INTRO Electronic Music Festival, Festival Croisement and Beijing International Women Festival.

The 2013 Meet in Beijing will close with Beijing People's Art Theater's drama White Deer Plain, which is adapted from the well-known novel of the same title and features Shaanxi dialect and traditional Qinqiang Opera.

Meet in Beijing Arts Festival was inaugurated in 2000 by the Ministry of Culture to celebrate the new millennium. Over 1,000 companies and 30,000 artists from 110 countries and regions have performed at the festival, including the Bolshoi Theater, Philadelphia Orchestra, Royal Shakespeare Company, and Placido Domingo.

"China is a big country, and as a comprehensive arts festival in the capital, Meet in Beijing should introduce more international artists to China, as well as Chinese artists to the world," Zhang says.

Some works featured in past festivals went on to tour internationally. Dance drama Qingming Riverside was staged at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. in January, while another dance drama Silk Road was presented at the Lincoln Center in New York in February and March.

"We hope we can connect China and the world through Meet in Beijing Arts Festival," Zhang says.

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