Culture Beat: Reservoir construction story brought to stage
Published: Mar 24, 2024 09:42 PM
Photo: Courtesy of Meilanfang Grand Theater

Photo: Courtesy of Meilanfang Grand Theater

Hebei Bangzi (a main type of opera in North China's Hebei Province) production The Ten Sisters of Miyun is set to debut an upgraded version on April 2 at the Meilanfang Grand Theater in Beijing. The performance will feature softer singing styles and newly added song sections to highlight character personalities and plot conflicts. 

This drama is based on the stories of the Miyun Reservoir, which was completed in 1958, and the locals in Miyun who were devoted to the construction and protection of the reservoir for decades, incorporating the spirit of the reservoir builders into its narrative.

The cast recently visited one of the people who inspired the play, the 80-something Wang Jianhua, who recounted details of the reservoir's construction to the performers.

The drama has been staged in Beijing multiple times. Director Li Jie said that the updated drama comes out after over a year of creation, research visits and rehearsals.

This version will be finely polished in terms of plot, choreography, music and costumes, while enriching the music and singing, enhancing the splendor of the opera's movements, and increasing its emotional impact, he added.