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Great performances on tap for festive season
By Zhang Qian

Concerts, dramas, musicals and dance performances will light up Shanghai during the Christmas and New Year’s season.

As always, it is one of the busiest seasons for stage performances and concerts in the city.

Zhang Xiaoding, vice president of Shanghai Grand Theater, says they are mixing things up this year.

“Drama the Last Laugh,” starring popular actors Chen Daoming and He Bing, will be staged from December 24-27 instead of the ballet “The Nutcracker,” which has been on the Christmas schedule for years.

Zhang says it is not a deliberate plan to change the Christmas favorite, but more that they want to alter perceptions of the recently renovated theater.

Its New Year’s lineup includes Austria-based Strauss Legacy Philharmonic Orchestra on December 29 and 30, and Spain’s Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, conducted by Zubin Mehta, on January 2 and 3.

Strauss’ music will be featured by both orchestras which will also perform “An der Schonen Blauen Donau” that is heard at almost every New Year’s concert.

Vienna Johann Strauss Capelle will perform at Shanghai Concert Hall on New Year’s Eve for the 10th straight year.

“It is out of a careful selection among the various Strauss orchestras in the market to present the pure Strauss style,” says Shen Yanshu of Shanghai Concert Hall.

Established by the Strauss family in 1843, the group is famous for playing all the classics by Johann, Josef and Eduard. The orchestra continues with the tradition of wearing red dress suits and white trousers, which started in 1843, for all festive occasions.

The orchestra will be in their festival dress in Shanghai, and a secret Chinese pop singer will join the orchestra on the concert this year as a special present for the audiences.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” will fill Shanghai Culture Square’s schedule from December 3 to January 26.

Fei Yuanhong, artistic director of Shanghai Culture Square, says Christmas decorations will create a special atmosphere while all women will be given a rose upon arrival at the theater.

All performers will wear a Christmas hat for the curtain call. Also, a group photo the cast and audience will be taken and uploaded on Shanghai Culture Square’s microblog.

“Drama the Last Laugh”
Date: December 19-27, 7:15pm
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, People’s Ave
Tickets: 180-1,280 yuan

“The Phantom of the Opera”
Date: December 3-January 26, 7:15pm
Venue: Shanghai Culture Square, 36 Yongjia Rd
Tickets: 80-1,280 yuan

Austrian Strauss Legacy Philhamonic Orchestra
Date: December 29, 30, 7:15pm
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People’s Ave.
Tickets: 280-880 yuan

Vienna Johann Strauss Capelle
Date: December 31, 7:30pm, 10:30pm, January 1, 2pm
Venue: Shanghai Concert Hall, 523 Yan’an Rd E.
Tickets: 80-980 yuan

Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana
Date: January 2-3, 7:30pm
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People’s Ave
Tickets: 180-1,280 yuan
Tel: 962-388

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