News > Spoleto Review: Feng Yi Ting Chinese Opera

My typical, and perhaps uncultured, thoughts about operas often consist of images that are along the lines of a busty Italian matriarch belting out glass-shattering sounds that just make my heart want to leap out of my own chest.

I love operas. They usually move me to tears. The beautiful tragedies of lost loves, the joyous sounds of love re-united. Yup. I’m a sucker for all those things. I was excited to see Spoleto’s Chinese opera Feng Yi Ting and took my mom with me. She’s equally a sucker for operatic love stories.

The femme fatale looks intently on one of her men's cities.

And Feng Yi Ting was an interesting enough story about a love triangle between the lead actress/singer and a father and son. The femme fatale (as she purposefully wanted to be viewed) pitted the two men against one another, causing much murder and mayhem between them and their governing territories that were symbolized by two rotating sculptural pieces on either side of the stage as well as massive projections of the warriors at war.

The disassembling words in the super titles mimicked the chaos in the plot.

The projections and holograms used throughout the show were impressive and accompanied by some chaotic music from the symphony, accurately gave the impression of war. The super titles and subtitles actually played an important part in the opera as they moved with the music. As things got more chaotic, the letters in the words actually started disassembling and falling apart themselves – a new and imaginative way of mimicking the plot.

Although there were quite a few who gave the performance a standing ovation (including my mother), I did not fall in love with Feng Yi Ting at all. Again, perhaps I’m not yet as cultured as others in viewing operas that are not based on a Latin language (although I’ve seen many), but I just found the sounds to be so nasal-y and harsh that it literally gave me a headache. But, hey, keep in mind that I’m just one person. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. Check it out for yourself. I’d love to know your thoughts. Visit the Spoleto site here.

Posted on May 31, 2012 by admin.

Categories: Performing Arts, Review, Uncategorized

Tags: Art, Charleston, Chinese Opera, Feng Yi Ting, Opera, Spoleto, Spoleto Festival Usa

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