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14:18 Sep 12 2009

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Opera shows women soldiers' love in Tibet
14:12, September 12, 2009  

The opera Sunny Snow is centered on the more than 1,100 women who comprised the first troupe of the People's Liberation Army to enter Tibet in 1950.

These women had to be as brave and tough as their male counterparts as they endured dire natural living conditions and love tragedies.

Adapted from Qiu Shanshan's novel I Would Wait for You in Heaven, the opera tells the little known story of these soldiers as they worked in Tibet's snowy mountains. It portrays such women soldiers as the charming Bai Xuemei, the innocent Liu Yurong and the bold Su Yingyu.

Composer Zhang Qianyi creates the dazzling scores by combining the tunes of Tibetan folk songs, Chinese folk music and classical Western arias.

Photo shows women soldiers of the People's Liberation Army explain the country's ethnic policies to Tibetan women in the 1950s. . (File Photo)

Zhang's ties to Tibet trace back to 1994, when he composed for the Tibet-themed TV series Road to Heaven. He continued to write music for several movies and TV series about Tibet, including Walking into the Himalayas, King Gesar, and Railway Between Tibet and Qinghai. Sunny Snow is his first theatrical work about the region.

"There are five elements that create the opera's allure," director Huang Dingshan says.

"First, there are legendary battles; second are the romantic love stories set in harrowing conditions; third are Zhang's unforgettable melodies; fourth is a cast of acclaimed vocalists; and fifth is the exceptional stage design, depicting the snowy mountains, glaciers and other beautiful but harsh landscapes particular to Tibet."

In addition to several remarkable sopranos who play women's roles, renowned tenor Dai Yuqiang performs as Xing Ming, a young doctor who falls in love with Bai. Dai sang with the Three Tenors at the Forbidden City in June 2001 and will perform Calaf in Zhang Yimou's Turandot in the Bird's Nest next month.

7:30 pm, Sept 12, 13. PLA Opera Theater, 60 Deshengmennei Dajie, Xicheng district. 8322-0726, 6613-1718, 400-810-3721

Source: China Daily

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