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The Imperial Bells of China

The Imperial Bells of China

In a unique display unlike any other orchestral performance, the internationally acclaimed Hubei Chime Bells National Chinese Orchestra brings The Imperial Bells of China – Chimes in Concert to Australia for concerts in Melbourne on Thursday 20 July at Melbourne Recital Center and in Sydney on Sunday 23 July at Sydney Opera House.

Together with Bianqing and other ancient instruments, like se, chi, drum and banjo, Bianzhong Bells are the earliest twelve-tone equal temperament instruments in the world and have major cultural and historical values. The Bells are regarded as the eighth wonders of the world with their grand music, broad range and rich characteristics. Hear the grandeur of Jingchu, the essence of ancient Chinese music and the splendour of world culture.

Led by the conductor Zhou Wen, over 40 talented musicians will play a series of famous Chinese music, including Sound of Peace, Bells-Impression of Chu, Getian’s Music, Xuanniao, Dance of Yao and The Silk Road. The use of the precise replicas of these ancient Chinese bells creates an authentic melodious timbre sound. The concert includes exquisite singing and the use of ancient bells, drums, harps, pipes and bamboo flutes.  The grand occasion of the Chinese palace symphony orchestra will be recreated and the ancient Jingchu people’s artistic lifestyle will be reproduced on stage.

In 1978, the 2,400-year-old bronze and stone chime-bells of Duke Zeng’s Tomb, together with a series of other ancient instruments, were unearthed in Hubei, China.  Inspired by these discoveries, Hubei Provincial Opera Theatre and Dance Drama staged the Chime performance bringing songs and musical instruments together, putting bronze, stone, jian drum and dozens of other ancient instruments on the same stage. Through this artistic style the beautiful ancient music of China is brought alive together on one stage.

“Transport yourself back in time 2400 years and witness a truly unique and enchanting experience, said Lu Zhanrong, The Head of Hubei Provincial Opera and Dance Drama Theatre.  “This truly remarkable cultural experience will see for the first time, audience members being given the opportunity to get up close and personal with the 400-year-old bronze and stone chime-bells with an additional back stage tour”

Not only is the sound of the bells filled with romantic and sonorous melodies but they are also visually breathtaking due to their grand scale and elaborate cast technique.  The Imperial of China represents a ritual in China’s outbound cultural exchanges, it has been performed in front of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Egyptian Present Abdel Fattah, The king and queen of Belgium and many more during the official visits and all across 57 countries and regions for more than 1000 times.

20 July: Melbourne Recital Centre (A Reserve $119 / B Reserve $79 / C reserve $49).
23 July: Sydney Opera House (Package $189 / Premium $129 / A Reserve $79 / B Reserve $59 / C reserve $39).

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