Zhang Yimou directed his first Beijing-Opera production in the Chinese capital at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA): "You and Me" is based on a 2700-year-old Chinese imperial story from the chapter "Lord Zheng defeats Duan in Yan" from the legend of Zuo – a tale of betrayal, the power of infantile love and the fact that blood is thicker than water.
"Acting itself has changed dramatically in recent decades with ever more sophisticated and innovative methods being implemented", says Zhang Yimou. "But that has nothing to do with the Beijing Opera. The Beijing Opera is something pure. Its aesthetic values are rooted in symbols and concepts. Here, three or five paces could signify a trip around the world. Six or seven people could represent an army. I hope that I can present the opera from this aesthetic perspective."
In order to create the spectacular dramatic work, Zhang Yimou teamed up with the greats of the contemporary Chinese art world. The music for "You and Me" is the work of the renowned composer Zhu Shaoyu; the avant-garde multimedia designers Fend Jiangzhou and Zhang Lin also took part in the collaboration, as well as the famous stars of the Beijing Opera, Shang Changrong, Chen Shaoyun and Li Mingyan.
Gianluigi Gelmetti, Emilio Sagi – Juan Diego Flórez (Count Almaviva), María Bayo (Rosina) – Teatro Real de Madrid
Leonardo García Alarcón, Jean-Yves Ruf – Emöke Barath (Elena, Venere), Valer Barna-Sabadus (Menelao), Fernando Guimaraes (Teseo)