Feature: Bilingual musical ‘Cho Cho’ to foster better understanding between China, Australia

by Wu Xiaoxiao
MELBOURNE, Oct. 2 — Melbourne, which is recognized as Australia’s arts and culture center, will welcome an outstanding musical theater work, “Cho Cho,” the first bilingual (English and Mandarin) musical work featuring a half Chinese and half Australian cast, when China celebrates its 64th founding anniversary here this month.
This musical drama, which is based on a classic love tragedy of Giacomo Puccini’s operatic masterpiece Madame Butterfly, changed the original Japanese background into 1930’s Shanghai to tell a similar story from more precise point of view of the cultural collision and intersection between China and Western countries.
According to The New York Times China, “Cho Cho was not only about telling the story of cultural difference but also of revealing the collision, intersection and integration of Chinese and Western culture.”
Australian leading director Peter Wilson, who worked as the puppetry director for King Kong and Dragon Child that was set to celebrate 2008 Beijing Olympics Games, worked as this drama’s director and added puppetry to the already staggering dimension of the show.
Unlike the usual go-abroad arts performance that are totally produced and played by Chinese staff and actors, “Cho Cho” made a new courageous arts trial to combine the whole production and performing process under the cooperation of people from two completely different language and cultural backgrounds.
“This is our new try on how to more precisely explain what exactly the culture and popular arts format in contemporary China is. It is a novel notion, where we could fulfill the improvement for the stepping-out strategy of Chinese culture. It is really bold and needs courage not only in the performing level, but also in the communication and marketing levels,” Fu Weibo, the deputy director of the performing center, National Theater of China (NTC) and chief executive of the National Drama Institute Pioneer Theater, told Xinhua recently.[db:内容2]

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