Chinese and Italian opera artists join forces for music video ‘Together’ amid COVID-19 pandemic

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/4/8 15:28:40

Raffaele Tassone, Italian Tenor. Photo: screenshot of music video "Together"

Time and time again music has shown it has the ability to overcome language barriers and bring people together. The latest example of this is a music video created by Chinese and Italian opera artists to remind people that we are all in this world together when it comes to fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The music video, titled "Together," was rearranged using the well-known classic Chinese song "Jasmine Flower" and the famous aria "Nessun Dorman" from the Italian opera Turandot. The Chinese and Italian artists recorded their parts while being separated by thousands of kilometers, but were united by their desire to inspire people affected by the pandemic.

As the melody from "Jasmine Flower" rings out, the camera follows a jasmine blossom as it flies across the Great Wall of China, then over the Forbidden City and finally out to sea. Facing the waves, a conductor, with his back toward a bright blue sky, swings his baton. 

The performers in the video can be seen performing in various places from artist spaces and opera houses in Beijing to the balconies, gardens and houses in Italy. Although they were thousands of kilometers apart, the harmony between them was unmistakable. 

Members of the production team behind the music video were also from both countries. 

"I believe that many people have seen the short video of Italian artists singing and playing music from their balconies. The image is very moving. Italy is an optimistic nation and their interest as well as deep love of life is always inspiring us," Zheng Hao, director of the music video said.

Ma Jiuyue, musical supervisor for the video, explained why they chose these two songs. 

"We chose 'Turandot' since it is a well-known opera both in China and Italy. The opera also contains elements of 'Jasmine Flower,'" Ma noted, adding that the elegant jasmine flower is a symbol of oriental beauty in China. 

The two different-styled songs were perfectly combined to express the integrated emotion and mutual spiritual support between the Chinese and Italian people, Ma said.

Considering the social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus, each of the performances in the video was recorded separately and later edited together. The Italian artists mainly sang at their homes, while the Chinese performers were filmed at China's Central Opera House.

To ensure everyone's safety, the opera house was carefully sterilized and only essential personnel were present. All staff except the singers was required to wear face masks.

Many artists from the two countries took part in the production, including 12 Italian opera artists. The oldest performer was more than 90 years old.Ninety-five-year-old Famous artist Mario del Monaco,  who sang the most difficult part of "Nessun Dorman" in the video, recorded his part of the video at home. In a message attached to the video, he noted that he loves China very much and that his daughter, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, has lived in China for many years. 

The Chinese artists who joined in the shooting also sent messages of support.

"Several years ago, we visited Italy and fell in love with the beautiful country. Now both countries are being attacked by the pandemic. Although we are in China, we still care about Italy," Chinese opera artists Ruan Yuqun and Li Shuang, who are also a couple, said.

"As opera singers, we hope we can use songs to inspire people who are suffering from the virus. Using our profession and our role to express ourselves is the most appropriate way to do so," they added.


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