China to Show Propaganda Opera at Olympics

Jane Macartney reports in the Times:

“This is a wedding. It’s a festive occasion. Look happy, much happier. Do that scene again and this time let’s really feel your joy. Move the audience …”

The famed Peking Opera director Gao Mukun barked out his orders to the chastened cast of a show timed as a finale for the Beijing Olympics.

The Tibetan performers hooted with delight and kept their smiles in place for the last scene of Princess Wencheng — a joint Peking and Tibetan opera that will play in the Chinese capital for three days this week.

A decision to perform the tale of the marriage between a Chinese princess and a Tibetan king in the 7th century just when Beijing is playing host to visitors from around the world does not look like a coincidence.

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