Go out and listen to something…

January 13, 2007

Shanghai: Jan 12 Live TV

Filed under: China Tour 1, China — burnett @ 8:44 pm

After the usual lengthy lunch of 12 courses or so, we went to the CCTV television studio stage at around 2 p.m.� Fellini would be right at home in this environment.� There were a hundred or so performers from all over China, a couple dozen makeup and costume facilitators, tech folks scurrying around and the continuous mist blowing on the stage.� We suddenly launched into a tech rehearsal for our own performance.� Xiaohui emerges from an upstage� pit while I am 70 feet downstage on a� white enamel concert� grand.

� Very hard to communicate between the two of us because of the distance.� Once again, it is important to speak Chinese here, as the directors spoke to me in Chinese at all times, all cues were in Chinese, etc.� Anyway, we got the cue, and there was so much yelling and something resembling the sound of a chain saw that I couldn’t hear Xiaohui at all. My earpiece was not working, we played the piece twice, were then off stage.� There was an actual dress about 2 hours later, and the monitor worked fine, and we started to get the feel of it.(I was majorly jet-lagged at this point, and that relentless queasy stomach was screaming at me.)�

The acts included 90 yr old Chinese opera performers who were being honored this evening.� Some of the spoke, and a couple actually performed.� Amazing.�

There were several major pop stars, and the reigning “American Idol” type of stars were floated in the air with wings while dancers performed beneath them. There were Tibetan dancers and other regional ethnic performers, mixed with traditional Chinese opera singers and traditional Chinese popular performers.� There were ballroom dancers, ballet dancers, kung fu performers, and various folk dancers.� The costumery was overwhelming, and I really didn’t have the time to take photos and have a hard look at everybody.� Will have to review the DVD.�

There is an American tenor, William Boyd, who sings traditional Chinese opera.� He was a big hit, and I look foward to meeting him again here.� His Chinese was very good, and he’s only been here 2 years.

� The live show itself went extremely well.� I was very impressed that the directors could bring such a disparate group of professional and non-professional performers together for live TV under with such last-minute, or rather last-second preparation.� Our own performance went without a glitch:� my monitor worked and we brought it off.� I received no stage direction, so I made my own decision about exiting the stage.� (When we saw the show on TV the next night, they had already done significant post-production, so� � I could see why they didn’t waste time directing me on and off.)

� Afterwards, we met countless people in the arts, both in opera and popular music, as well as directors of various major arts organizations.� The 75 business cards that I brought are going to run out in about 2 days.� I’m also glad I can take 1000 photos with my digicam, as we seem to take a couple dozen shots per event.

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