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Warriors star in lakeside opera spectacular in Austria

Updated: Jul 24,2015 8:51 AM     China Daily

Terracotta Warrior figures rise out of the waters of Lake Constance at the Bregenz Festival’s lake stage in Austria, where Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot opened the monthlong celebration of the performing arts on July 22. The stage set featured a giant structure based on the Great Wall.[Photo/ Xinhua]

Replicas of the Terracotta Warriors helped to give Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot a distinctly Chinese flavor at the opening of the Bregenz Festival in Austria on July 22.

The performing arts festival is famous for staging large-scale open-air productions on a stage built over the waters of Lake Constance, and the half-submerged figures were a striking sight.

The stage was dominated by a gleaming, rust-colored wall 27 meters high, 72 meters long and weighing 335 metric tons that was inspired by the Great Wall.

The 205 warrior figures were closely modeled on the originals, which were buried in the grave of Qin Shi Huang (259 to 210 BC), China’s first emperor, at Xi’an in Shaanxi province.

The festival, under new artistic director Elisabeth Sobotka, is in its 70th year. Turandot has been performed at the event only once before, in 1979.

The new production was directed by Marco Arturo Marelli, who is also the stage designer, and the Vienna Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Paolo Carignani accompanied the singers. A highlight of the opera is the famous aria Nessun dorma.

Twenty-five other performances are scheduled, including the opera The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach, directed by Stefan Herheim, and a performance by Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman.

The festival features a wide variety of musical and theatrical events and is held every July and August. This year it continues until Aug 23.

Chen Nan contributed to this story.

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