Shakespeare's story and Purcell's music re-imagined on water
By Shen Li
Wuzhen in east China is known as a water town, so it's no surprise that for some of the plays at this year's festival, water also plays a key role.
As one of the unique theaters in Wuzhen, the Water Theatre, constructed of over 2,000 wooden logs, will provide an enthralling backdrop for several of the Festival's productions, including "The Fairy Queen" from Poland, with multimedia elements throughout the show.
Based on Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream," Henry Purcell's opera, and Polish romantic poems, the play is all about breaking boundaries.
Performed on the water, it will see actors and singers moving about in boats, amid projections displayed on water screens.
The director said it was a dream come true to bring "The Fairy Queen" to the ancient water town.
Michal Znaniecki told CGTN, "I was invited here like a guest last year, I discovered it like a dream. I said to myself I have to sell my soul to be here and share what I'm doing, making strange projects on the water. It was amazing to see my dream possible. Fortunately, when I saw the theatre here, I thought this is the place for 'The Fairy Queen' of Shakespeare and Purcell, to show in China. And let's discover if it is so different. I'm happy to make it and share it."
For the performers, staging this Western opera amid the Eastern structures has also been the experience of a lifetime.
"Here for me it's one of the best places in the whole [world]. I feel in the air, something magical opera and theatre air. It's such an amazing place. So glad I came here," Ewa Biegas, the play's lead singer, shared with CGTN.
Following "The Fairy Queen," another play to hit the Water Theatre is "The Trojan Women from Greece." It will be performed during the second half of the festival.