Opera adaptation of writer Mo Yan's 'Sandalwood Death' to debut in Beijing

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/11/13 18:23:41

Promotional material for Sandalwood Death Photo: VCG

"I am happy to see my work has been adapted into an opera," Chinese Nobel Prize-winning writer Mo Yan, told media at a press event on Monday in Beijing about the upcoming opera adaptation of his novel Sandalwood Death.

Published in 2001, Sandalwood Death tells the story an anti-imperialist movement in East China's Shandong Province during the Boxer Rebellion (1898-1901) which ends up with the leader Sun Bin being tied to a sandalwood stake and tortured to death.

The novel is filled with rhythmic narration and artistic style, since it combines literature with traditional Chinese folk opera.

"This is a story about my hometown," Mo Yan said.

"When I started creating this work, something in my head inspired me. It was our local opera, maoqiang. The rhythm kept haunting my mind."

Mo Yan also mentioned that it was a happy coincidence that Li Yuntao, the scriptwriter for the opera version of Sandalwood Death, was from Gaomi, a county-level city in Shandong, as this background gave Li a good understanding of the local artistic style used in the novel.

The opera will debut at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing on December 4.

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