Sitting at Beijing Capital Airport it seems a bit like madness to have come here for only three days. However, it was a beneficial and exciting trip, perfectly organized by our Chinese hosts.
On Monday morning, before the official start of the Forum (and before the summer heat got unbearable), I managed to do a short visit of the Forbidden City and alone this would have been worth the trip. On a quick traversal from the south to the north - which takes about 2 hours - it is impressive to see how the scale and grandeur of the official palaces morph into more intimate, but still splendid, living quarters with smaller palaces, pavilions and gardens, all buildings in the omnipresent imperial red with elaborately decorated roofs.
The Forum was held at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) which was opened just three years ago. Imagine a gigantic dome of steel and glass with three independent buildings inside, a concert hall, an opera house and a theatre, plus a multifunctional space on a lower level, with a total capacity of 6.000 seats, a whole arts district under one single roof. A very impressive achievement whose acoustics and technical equipment match the best performance venues in the world, as we could experience on Monday night, when we attended the world premiere of a Western-style Chinese opera The Chinese Orphan.
I hadn't been aware that all the sessions of the Forum would be open to the public, which provided a great opportunity for inspiring discussions and unique insights. Even though of Western-European origin, opera emerged from these sessions as a truly universal art form, able to engage people of the most diverse cultural backgrounds. Indeed, looking at the fairly short, but incredibly successful history of opera in the world's most populated country one can only imagine what an important destination for opera China could become, and how it will shape the future of the art form. It could be very beneficial for a company like the COC to establish partnerships with the NCPA, reaching from the exchange of productions to co-productions or even tours. We're at the beginning of an interesting journey.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (3) / permalink
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