The newly built center, which is shaped like an orchid when viewed from above, had a opening celebration in December 2004, but its venues did not open for regular performances until this month.
The production, presented by the Shanghai Opera Troupe in association with the Virginia Opera, was the first-ever full, Italian-language staging of Tosca in China. Peter Mark, Virginia Opera's artistic director, shared conducting duties with Lin Yousheng; Joseph Bascett was the director.
The role of Scarpia was shared by Sun Yu and Zhang Feng; Tosca was sung by Ma Mei and the Argentinean-born Fabiana Bravo. Cavaradossi was played by Chi Liming and Wei Song, a leading Chinese tenor and deputy director of the Shanghai Opera Troupe.
Photos copyright Rudolph Tang / www.klassikom.com 2005.