Beginnings

Baroque opera as it has never been seen before

An innovative production, 'Semele' set a new standard in the fusion of contemporary art and baroque music while representing a unique cross-fertilisation between Chinese and European cultures.

At a time when the West increasingly looks to China as a source of inspiration, the KT Wong Foundation’s production of Semele involved an unprecedented level of collaboration between talents from China and the West.

Co-produced with La Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie, this bold production premiered in Brussels at La Monnaie|de Munt’s opening season and drew rave reviews for redefining the landscape in baroque and operatic performance.

In 2009 the KT Wong Foundation commissioned acclaimed Chinese artist Zhang Huan to design and direct a new, innovative production of George Frideric Handel’s baroque masterpiece Semele.

Supporting Zhang Huan’s bold and spectacular vision for Semele that featured a 450- year old Ming Dynasty temple of ornately carved wood, the KT Wong Foundation commissioned internationally renowned, award-winning fashion and costume designer Hang Feng to create a range of exquisite costumes.

Working alongside Zhang Huan, Christophe Rousset, one of Europe’s leading baroque specialists, conducted one of the world’s foremost period ensembles, ‘Les Talens Lyriques’.

Also working with Zhang Huan to help realise the visual grandeur of this unique production were Su Jie, one of China’s leading choreographers, and Wolfgang Göbbel, the acclaimed stage and opera lighting director.

Articles:

About the Ming Temple.  About the Ming Temple

Zhang Huan: director’s remarks Because man himself is a monster, god is also a monster.   http://cn.ktwong.org/content/zhang_huan_directors_remarks.pdf

Women in Handel’s operas and oratorios By Donald Burrows​.
http://cn.ktwong.org/content/women_in_handels_operas_daniel_burrows.pdf