In anticipation of the staging of this 2019 version of the famous play, I posted yesterday about Cao Yu and his work with the hope that it helps to encourage our many younger friends to go and experience the play, to see for yourselves why this Zhou family saga has been so popular over the decades since its first staging in China in 1935.
Over the last 40 years or so, I have been exposed to various versions of Thunderstorm on stage, as well as several movie adaptations of it. Among those, there are only a handful that I have truly enjoyed and here is one that I would like to share with all of you today.
On 25th August 2007 in Shanghai, China, I was very fortunate to see Thunderstorm being performed not as a play, but for the very first time, as an ORIGINAL OPERA. It took place at the main stage of the impressive Shanghai Grand Theatre, featuring a stellar cast of some of the very best opera singers in China at the time and it was of course, sung in Mandarin with English surtitles. It was a sold out performance with leading soprano Gao Manhua as Fan Yi, famous tenors Zhang Jianlu as Zhou Puyuan and Wei Song as Zhou Ping. They were backed by a full orchestra under maestro Zhang Guoyong with 60 chorus singers. It was indeed, a wonderful experience for me to have seen this incredible opera production !
Here are some pics that I have lifted from the programme brochure for your enjoyment.
Tomorrow, let us go back further in time to 1983 but it will be nearer to home, to explore yet another incredible performance of Thunderstorm. Stay tune !