Chinese and French artists will perform together in a concert, titled Peace, Friendship, Love, which will be broadcast on French television network TV5Monde on Feb 1, Spring Festival, or the Chinese Lunar New Year.
The concert will feature four chapters, embodying the Olympic spirit, celebrating the traditional Chinese festival, and marking the friendship between China and France.
“The year 2022 marks the 58th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. We want to celebrate our friendship through music,” says Lu Cairong, deputy director of the China International Publishing Group, co-organizer of the concert.
“The Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be held very soon and Paris will hold the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which builds up a special bond between these two cities,” Lu adds. “Sports and music are common languages of human beings. We would like to deliver the message of peace, friendship and love, just like the name of the concert suggests, to worldwide audiences.”
According to the concert’s director Xin Shaoying, who directed a gala in 2019 celebrating the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and France, the concert will reach audiences in 217 countries worldwide, covering 450 million families.
“It’s a joint effort between people in China and France. We’ve shot the programs in the two countries and artists from both countries, such as soloists, singers and dancers, joined in the concert,” says Xin.
French pianist Richard Clayderman, one of the most popular French musicians in China, who has held around 500 concerts in nearly 100 cities in the country since 1992, will perform The Skaters’ Waltz, Op.183, by French composer Emil Waldteufel written in 1882.
French tenor Vincent Morell from Opera National de Paris and Chinese soprano Wang Na from the China National Opera & Dance Drama Theater will sing the song Spring Ballet, together.
Chinese pianist Lang Lang, soprano Lei Jia and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will perform a song, titled Forever Together.
Chinese rock singer-songwriter Zheng Jun will perform his hit, Passion, along with his band.
Other highlights will see performances by children choirs both from China and France, as well as China’s Kunqu Opera classic The Peony Pavilion, and French folk dance. Chinese people living in France and French people living in China will share their stories through videos.
The programs were shot in front of iconic landmarks in China and France, such as the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, says the director.
A new song, titled Kungfu Breaking, will be premiered in the concert, and will be performed by Chinese singer Li Yugang and breakdancers from both countries. Breaking, a form of street dance that originated in the United States in the 1970s, made its Olympic debut at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. The dance form has been chosen to feature on the Paris 2024 Olympic sports program as a new sport, along with surfing, skateboarding and sport climbing.
“Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the process of arranging and shooting the programs for the concert was very difficult. However, we’ve made it together,” says Xin.
TV producer and host Olivier Grandjean will be the host of the concert.
“I’ve traveled around China since I made documentaries about different cultures. I learned about Chinese culture and history, which allowed me to understand the country,” says Grandjean. “I’ve seen the country’s changes and I found that there are many similarities between China and France. For example, the two countries both have a profound history and the people of the two countries both share values like a love of food.”