Olympic theme highlighted at 2020 ‘Meet in Beijing’ arts festival

With the chorus of Ode to Joy echoing in the concert hall of the National Center for the Performing Arts, the opening concert of the 2020 Meet in Beijing Arts Festival reached its climax on Monday night, kicking off a month-long extravaganza of music, plays, art and cultural activities in the capital.

Through Feb 4, theatergoers and art lovers in Beijing will be exposed to more than 60 performances and three theme exhibitions presented by more than 700 artists from 12 countries and regions. From music and art exhibitions to plays, dance shows and gourmet festivals, the 20th edition of the annual “Meet in Beijing” event will have classical and contemporary cultural elements, as well as Olympic-themed activities, on offer.

The opening concert was jointly staged by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and Tokyo Opera Singers. Under the baton of Japanese conductor Michiyoshi Inoue, Chinese tenor Shi Yijie, Chinese mezzo-soprano Zhu Huiling, Japanese baritone Takaoki Onishi and Japanese soprano Eri Takahashi joined together to perform the choral finale. Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No 9 was one of the masterworks played at the concert to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

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