World premiere on May 5 in Frankfurt/Main
* Foto Foto In cooperation with the House of World Cultures, Berlin, the Ensemble Modern has organized a unique project that combines Occidental and Chinese music and has brought stars from China’s musical scene to Frankfurt for the first time. Together with Liu Sola and Chinese virtuosos, the EM will present the world premiere of Sola’s opera Fantasy of the Red Queen at the Bockenheimer Depot in Frankfurt am Main on May 5, 2006. Additional performances will take on May 6 in Frankfurt and May 9 and 10 in Berlin.
The Chinese composer, writer, and singer Liu Sola incorporates references to pop, rock, blues, jazz, traditional, and non-academic music into her pieces. In addition to writing for theater, dance productions, and film scores, she composed the first Chinese rock opera and spent 15 years living in London and the US before recently moving back to Beijing. Sola attended the legendary composition class at the Beijing Conservatory. She graduated in 1983 following a ten-year hiatus, during which time the school was closed. In those ten years, many of the students were forced to join re-education camps or work in the agricultural sector. Today, these artists, such as Tan Dun, Guo Wenjing or Liu Sola, are among the world’s most highly acclaimed composers.
In the Fantasy of the Red Queen, Sola’s unique musical mixture enchants audiences and takes them to the Chinese world of today with all its many different facets. She uses motifs from revolutionary songs, jazz from the 1920s, Shanghai pop, the so-called Revolutionary Tango and Chinese Hip-Hop. She also incorporates traditional Chinese music, instruments and elements from the Peking opera and artistically combines them with traditional Occidental music.
Her new opera is set in a hospital. A confused old woman believes that she is Jiang Qing, the “Red Queen”, whose life story is told in retrospect. As Mao Zedong’s fourth wife, the former Peking opera performer was allowed to dance for the Great Party Chairman, seduced him, became his lover and eventually married him. When Mao began contemplating the cultural revolution, she realized that her moment had come. From then on, she had a significant influence on the Cultural Revolution, became its driving force and exploited her power to eliminate her personal enemies, settle old accounts, and shape culture to her own taste.