The Peony Pavilion, one of the most famous pieces of Kunqu Opera, opened the 14th Chekhov International Theater Festival in Russia on May 14.
China is the main guest of this year’s event, which runs until July 21.
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the China Russia diplomatic relations.
At this year’s theatre festival, Garden Kunqu Peony Pavilion, starring “Prince of Kunqu” Zhang Jun, sets the scene in the Botanic Garden (Apothecary’s Garden) of the State University of Moscow. Making the garden a live stage brings the play to life and allows audience to relive a timeless Chinese love story created around the same time as Romeo and Juliet.
It is the first time that Zhang Jun brings Garden Kunqu Peony Pavilion to Moscow, as the fourth stop of its world tour following performances in Château de Saint-Cloud in Paris, the Saxony State Museum in Dresden, Germany, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Originally written by playwriter Tang Xianzu in the 16th century, Peony Pavilion has touched the hearts of many generations through the love story that takes place in a garden. In 2010, Zhang Jun and the internationally renowned composer Tan Dun jointly created the Garden Kunqu Peony Pavilion, staging the drama in a real-life garden named Zhu Jiajiao on the outskirts of Shanghai. The production played to sold-out crowds for 230 shows in the past 10 years.
The performance of Garden Kunqu Peony Pavilion at the 14th Chekhov International Theatre Festival has opened a new window to the world for China, in particular for Shanghai. The opera is the main elements of Shanghai’s city image promotional campaign — “Amazing Shanghai”, which displays the city as a global hub for culture, trade and finance.