The Shanghai Conservatory of Music’s self-produced original musical “Loyalty” premieres at Shangyin Opera this weekend.
The patriotic-themed musical is the conservatory’s second original musical creation, a joint effort of teachers, students and graduates of the conservatory.
The story is based on the true story. A group of underground Chinese Communist Party members protected a confidential archive collection kept in Shanghai from 1927 to 1949.
In “Loyalty”, protagonist Xiang Xiaohui makes a living pulling a rickshaw. Under the influence of the patriots, he grew up and joined the Party, disguising himself as a restorer to protect confidential archives.
“The biggest challenge is that the story and the character are a bit removed from our lives,” said Fang Shujian, who stars as Xiang. The 23-year-old singer graduated from the conservatory.
“I have to imagine the life of a rickshaw boy and a restaurateur in disguise,” he said. “Fortunately, the music and lyrics are extremely moving which helps me a lot when showing the character.”
According to composer and producer An Dong, who is also the head of the music department of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the production features a wide variety of musical genres, including pop and jazz.
“The actors are young, so we created some relatively popular tunes for the musical,” An said. “Despite the varied musical genres, the story theme was well emphasized.”
Conservatory president baritone Liao Changyong said “Loyalty” is the conservatory’s latest exploration of how to create a patriotic-themed production in modern times.
“The revolutionaries of this era are all young men,” Liao said. “Young people today will remember the dedication and spirit shown by people their age. It is a period of history that should not be forgotten. I hope that creation can make the young people of today cherish their beautiful life. “
Ma Yue / SHINE
Date: October 9 and 10, 7:30 p.m.
Banknotes: 80-680 yuan
Location: Shangyin Opera
Address: 6, Fenyang Street