Ballads from beyond the grave
Published: Aug 08, 2011 08:25 AM Updated: Aug 08, 2011 08:26 AM

Teresa crowd: singers get inspired by love songs. Photo: CFP

It has been 16 years since Chinese diva Teresa Teng died, but her music still inspires people who love her sweet voice. The past weekend, Teng's music returned in a Chinese musical drama Love U, Teresa.

It finally toured Beijing Exhibition Hall Theater after wrapping up dozens of performances in other Chinese cities. The drama, from music producer Li Dun after his awarded musical Bufferfly, followed his routine approach of beautiful singing, touching storyline and dazzling stage designs and effects.

This time, Li didn't directly move Teng's life story to the stage, but used 20 of her songs in an inspirational story.

Young musical talent Zhou Mengjun leaves his mum for Shanghai to chase his dreams, which are broken by cruel reality. Without a dream, he grows depressed and loses passion for music. But an encounter with Mi Mi, who covers Teng's songs, makes him recapture the confidence to create. Gradually, Zhou realizes that it is the true love that hides behind the touching songs. Moved by the romance from Mi Mi, he started to create many love songs for her and finally made her a well-known singer just like Teng.

Teng's short but meaningful life and songs tells people that "there is no place in the world that love can't reach".

"That is what we want to tell people through this musical. We need to have a more serious attitude towards love and giving. Teng's songs are beautiful, and love is more beautiful," said Li Dun.

Besides the music, the highlight is the outstanding stage design. The opening scene is a giant rose curtain made of 6,999 roses. When the lights go dark, the red roses turn into pink slowly, and sketch out the words "Love U, Teresa" and her Chinese name "Deng Lijun."