'Mulan Psalm' debuts in Japan

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Renowned Chinese soprano Peng Liyuan (second from left) answers the curtain call following a successful performance of opera 'Mulan Psalm' in Tokyo, Japan on November 11, 2009.

Renowned Chinese soprano Peng Liyuan (second from left) answers the curtain call following a successful performance of opera "Mulan Psalm" in Tokyo, Japan on November 11, 2009. [CNSphoto]

Applause filled the centennial hall of Gakushuin University Wednesday as Chinese opera "Mulan Psalm" wrapped up its premiere in Tokyo.

While putting together various forms of performance such as symphony, musical, theater and dance, "Mulan Psalm" blended into the element of China's folk music, singing technique, national costume and martial art, offering a auditory and visual feast for the audience.

"Every one present has experienced the great impact from pure traditional Chinese culture," said Hakata Fujishima, a Japanese artist, after watching the opera.

"'Mulan Psalm,' in such a grand and beautiful artistic form, makes it known to the world that the Chinese people enthusiastically extol peace and earnestly long for a tranquil and happy life," he said.

"Mulan Psalm" is based on the well-known Chinese folktale heroine Mulan who disguised herself as a man to replaced her ailing father in the army and saved her country from the intruders.

On Tuesday, Li Shengquan, head of the performing troupe, said at a press conference that "Mulan Psalm" relates an ancient Chinese tale in the form of an opera, and represents the aspiration and hope the Chinese people have long cherished for peace and a tranquil life.

Li, who is deputy chief of publicity division of the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) General Political Department, also voiced his belief that the opera will become popular with the Japanese audience and strike a responsive chord in their hearts.

The opera was first staged in Beijing in 2004, and Peng Liyuan, a celebrated Chinese soprano, played the leading role of heroine Mulan. It has toured across China ever since.

In 2005 and 2008, "Mulan Psalm" was also staged at New York's Lincoln Center and Vienna's State Opera House respectively.

At the invitation of Japan's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chinese performing troupe, with Peng Liyuan as art director, is scheduled to put on four performances of "Mulan Psalm" in Tokyo and Sapporo from November 11 to 20.

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