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Just in: Beijing launches international opera contest

The Beijing International Music Competition has added an opera round to its instrumental events. The first opera edition will be in November 2013. The thirteen-member overseas jury is headed by Bernd Weikl, with Francisco Araiza as a fellow-member.

bernd weikl


Here’s our China correspondent, Rudolph Tang: 

This will be the first time for BJIMC to host an opera competition, which also makes it the first international vocal competition to be held in mainland China. Music competitions in mainland China are usually hosted by the Ministry of Culture or governmental bodies and are subject to receive full subsidy from the government. That makes BJIMC one of a kind.
The BJIMC rotates among clarinet, flute, quartet and cello. It started in 2006 with flute with enormous financial stress and critical acclaim and subsequently had to suspend for two years to recover. It resumed in 2009 with clarinet, 2010 with cello, 2011 with quartet and 2012 with flute again. The news came in a time when there has been growing interest in serious operatic career making in China with the rise of more local productions or co-productions at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Beijing Music Festival, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Hangzhou Grand Theatre, Central Opera Company, Guangzhou Opera House and Tianjin Opera House.

Notable new productions in 2013 include a co-production between Budapest Palace of Arts and Shanghai Grand Theatre of Verdi’s Attila, Giancarlo del Monaco’s Nabucco which features Placido Domingo, Francesca Zambello’s Les Contes d”Hoffmann currently on run both at NCPA,  a co-production between Salzburg Easter Festival and Beijing Music Festival of Parsifal in November to be conducted by Marc Albrecht in Bejing and to be premiered in March in Salzburg with Christian Thielemann on the podium, also a production of La traviata brought to China by Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, as well as several Russian operas in Tianjin.

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  1. The Chinese love opera and have a great tradition of their own, though it is quite different from ours. In my mind’s eye I can just see Pavarotti going through their training program to play Tosca- I mean Tosca, not Cavaradossi (or better yet, Turandot)- and learning to do multiple acrobat back flips (instead of the standard belly flop) as part of the role. This competition will be another catalyst for new creative work. So, more power to China’s efforts in this area.

  2. By “Opera Competition” you mean “Opera SINGING Competition.”

    Since there is no competition for new operas, it is not an “Opera Competition.”

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