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Musical on famed composer staged in Qianhai

An original musical on the life of famed composer Xian Xinghai was staged in Qianhai on Thursday night, attracting a large audience.
The musical, staged by the Guangzhou-based South Singing and Dancing Troupe, tells the story of Macao-born Guangdong composer Xian after he returned to China from France where he studied at National Superior Conservatory of Paris for Music and Dance and devoted himself to the War of Resistance Against Japan with music as a weapon.
The performance integrated drama, music, dance and high technology to present a vivid musician with strong patriotism. The aspiring young man gave up his comfortable life in Paris and returned to his home country in 1935 when China was suffering from Japanese invasion.
Many of the audience members resonated with the spirit brought by the musical although the story happened a few decades ago.
Fang Jingcheng, an 8-year-old boy who watched the show with his father, said he was most touched by a scene in which Xian composed the later hugely famous “Yellow River Cantata” by the Yellow River in Yan’an City, Shaanxi Province.
“Xian is a talented and patriotic musician, and I should follow his example,” Fang said.
According to Deng Shimin, director of the South Singing and Dancing Troupe, the production team of the musical made extra efforts to make the show connected to the young audience. “They handed out a questionnaire to collect opinions from the young generation before starting to write the script,” said Deng before the show.
She added that a number of creative arrangements have been made during the musical to showcase the actual life in Yan’an. “For example, they didn’t have any musical instrument at that time, so we resort to stainless spoons and enamel tea cups to create the sound effects,” said Deng.
The performance won endless applauses from the audience members.
Xian, one of the most famous contemporary musicians in China, had composed many songs that were inspiring in an era when the nation fought the Japanese invaders.
Li Zekai, who plays Xian in the musical, said he had a lot of pressure playing the character. “I’ve done some research to get familiar with the artistic temperament of the musician, as well as his makings of a revolutionary,” said Li, who graduated from Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou last year.
The musical made its debut in Guangzhou on Sept. 3, 2015, and has toured around the country over the past few years. It has won numerous awards and receives funds from the National Art Foundation for cultural exchanges this year.
The performance was the latest of a series of Qianhai Red Art Season.