Artists adapt to life during the pandemic

Share This Post

New ways explored to connect with audiences

The lights dimmed, the conductor lifted his baton, and chorus members started to sing at a concert given by the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra in Shaanxi province on Oct 31.

However, this performance at the Xi'an Concert Hall was special, as it was staged in an empty auditorium.

Conducted by Zhu Yizhang, the livestreamed concert attracted more than 40,000 viewers that night and the next day, and an edited version has been viewed about 1 million times online.

Titled Don't Worry, the concert was staged for audiences unable to attend live performances during the coronavirus outbreak, and also to pay tribute to front-line healthcare workers.

A total of 11 pop songs, such as Legend, written and first performed by singer-songwriter Li Jian, and Big Fish, written by Qian Lei and Yin Yue, which was debuted by singer Zhou Shen, were adapted into choral songs for the concert.

The chorus, launched in 2017 by the orchestra, decided to stage the special online concert after two new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases were identified in Shaanxi among a tour group in Xi'an on Oct 17.

Cao Jiwen, branding director of the orchestra, said the Xi'an Concert Hall, home to the ensemble and its chorus, is located close to popular scenic areas, such as Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and the Great Tang All Day Mall Pedestrian Street, which the tour group visited.

To rehearse for the concert, the chorus and staff members at the venue were given nucleic acid tests every 48 hours.

Cao said the live concerts due to be performed by the orchestra and chorus were canceled after the new cases were detected in Xi'an, including the orchestra's nationwide tour and performances for its new season.

"Fears about the virus have been with us for the past two years, and may be around for some time, so we decided to stage an online concert for people in the hope of offering them comfort, making them feel less lonely, and allowing them to enjoy the performance from the comfort of home," Cao said.

The performance was livestreamed on Bilibili, one of China's most popular online video sharing and entertainment platforms, which is known for its danmu (bullet screens) service, on which viewers post real-time comments while watching a film or show.

Cao said, "I was touched when I saw a screen full of comments from online audience members offering one another support."

Different way

Wang Yixi, a soprano and chorus member who took part in the concert on Oct 31, said, "Although there was no audience in the concert hall, this was a different way to interact with audiences online."

Screens were set up on the stage for the musicians to read comments posted by viewers.

Born and raised in Xianyang, Shaanxi, Wang received vocal training as a teenager and later obtained her bachelor's and master's degrees in voice performance from the Xi'an Conservatory of Music. In 2018, a year after she graduated, Wang joined the chorus of the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra.

It was not the first time she had performed in an empty concert hall, as on March 27 last year, the orchestra and chorus gave their first online concert, which was livestreamed on Bilibili.

Cao said: "Early last year, we, like many other people, went through a very hard time after the coronavirus pandemic hit. Concert halls closed down and performances were canceled. We felt very sad and depressed. Launching online programs seemed to be the only way for us to stay in touch with our audiences."

This year, with the pandemic under control in China, live performances have resumed, including those given by the Xi'an Symphony Orchestra.

Cao said, "Although new cases of COVID-19 again forced us to cancel our performances, we now feel differently about this. Early last year, the orchestra didn't know how to deal with the situation, so musicians worked extremely hard to study technology and launch online programs.

"This time, we feel very confident and relaxed. Everything is in order, and our task is to bring good music to the public."

The first online program Wang took part in featured performances teaching audiences to sing at home during the lockdown.

1  2  >  

Follow Chinafolk on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
ChinaNews App Download
spot_img

Related Posts

Majority of China’s museums now offer free admission

The total number of Chinese museums rose by 395 to 6,183 in 2021, 90 percent of them offering free admission, said a senior cultural official Wednesday.

Translating Chinese literature: Cross-cultural communication

In 2012, Chinese writer Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize in Literature, and his works have since been translated into at least 40 languages with more than 200 versions read worldwide. In 2020, online Chinese literary works attracted more than 83 million overseas readers, a 160.4-percent increase year on year. Chinese literary works have become an important window for foreigners to understand Chinese culture. Translators, as messengers of cultural exchange between China and foreign countries, have played an important role.

Father empowers disabled daughter with music

A girl with an intellectual disability from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province has learned to play more than 300 songs with Erhu and flute and has won many prizes thanks to her father.

Yu Zhongxian: Understand to be understood

"Translation is understanding and making others understand," said translator and professor Yu Zhongxian during a recent interview he gave to China Pictorial (CP). "I operate a ferry, a bridge between two shores empowering Chinese readers to gain richer knowledge of other countries."

Iljaz Spahiu: My own private China

"Mandarin Chinese is appallingly difficult to learn!" Albanian sinologist Iljaz Spahiu waved his hands and couldn't help bursting into laughter when recalling his first Chinese course. In 1974, when he was only 19, Spahiu set out from Tirana, capital of Albania, and flew across the Eurasian continent to Beijing. He enrolled in a Chinese class at Beijing Language Institute (now Beijing Language and Culture University). After more than a year of studying there, he went to Peking University for a program on Chinese studies.

Mark Leenhouts: Slow fire makes well-done translation

At the very first sight, few understand the grave lexicography of the Chinese character"𡈙(yóu)." But Mark Leenhouts is quite familiar with how the pictograph depicting a "a caged bird" on his WeChat profile vividly captures the nature of the translation profession—"a decoy bird."
- Advertisement -spot_img