A "Chinese Princess Turandot" was selected in Beijing on Sunday to represent Chinese director Zhang Yimou's new version of Puccini's opera "Turandot". Zhang and the creative team behind the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will return to the National Stadium to stage the opera on October 6th and 7th, during the Chinese National Day holiday.
The budget for the new spectacular show was 1.2-billion yuan, or about 180 million US dollars.
Some of the effort can be seen in the nationwide pageant competition to find a "Chinese Princess" the young lady who will embody classic Chinese beauty, combined with the strength of the opera's central character as the modern "Princess Turandot".
Li Ruoning, a 21-year-old girl from northwestern China's Shaanxi Province, won the competition out of 15 finalists and was crowned "Chinese Princess" on Sunday.
Li Ruoning said, "I did not expect to be 'Chinese Princess' before. But after winning, I will definitely follow the director's arrangements. I will continue to build up myself, and continue to engage in public interest work and in helping others."
Besides selecting a real-person as "Chinese princess", the promoter has also created a collectible, hand-crafted Princess Turandot doll, which was also unveiled at a press conference.
Zhang Yimou himself, however, did not attend Sunday's event.