Fleeting Clouds goes global

Updated: 2014-08-04 05:41

By Zhang Chunyan (China Daily)

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"Fleeting Clouds - The Splendid Library", an original Chinese musical, made its international debut on Thursday at the cultural festival in Edinburgh.

Fleeting Clouds is tender love story revolving around the GuoYunLou books - a series of historically important encyclopaedic books containing history, philosophy and amassed knowledge which were collected over 1,000 years between the Song and Qing dynasties.

Ye Jiancheng, vice general manager of Phoenix Publishing and Media Group and screenwriter of the Fleeting Clouds musical, said that the books were auctioned to the media group in 2012 for a record-breaking £20.1 million, inspiring the company to commission the Fleeting Clouds musical celebrating the continued protection of such important books.

Jacks Thomas, director of the London book Fair, reflected upon the importance of this historic purchase, stating that "books are the start of so much dialogue... the reflection of our individual cultures and an essential window into other people's worlds, thoughts and experiences".

"Fleeting Clouds, encapsulating both the regional Kunqu Opera and contemporary folk and pop music; combined with graceful dance promises to tell us a story that will open our mind and hearts to a moment in time of China's rich history," said Emma House, director of Publisher Relations at Publishers Association.

A fusion of musical styles from both traditional Chinese culture and Western musical culture, the cross-cultural show was written on the basis that culture must be protected, inherited and celebrated in order for it to flourish.

The performance, which had reduced many members of previous audiences to tears, featured a range of musical styles from tender, enchanting choral pieces to more contemporary and lively songs - bridging the gap between Chinese culture and western musical culture whilst retaining a distinctly Oriental charm.

The musical will return to China to continue on a tour around China starting at the Jiangsu International Arts Festival, Nanjing in September and October before moving to Shanghai where it will perform at the Original Chinese Musical Tour in March 2015.

Zhou Heran contributed to this story.