Beijing Music Festival opens with renowned Peking opera

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This version of Ba Wang Bie Ji, directed by Chinese artist Chen Shi-zheng, is a new interpretation of the classic opera that introduces digital stage effects and modern dancing into the performance of the classic drama.

Having lost his battle for the throne, Xiang refused to cross a river to save his life.

The performance starred renowned Peking opera performers Yang Chi and Ding Xiaojun, and was conducted by Hu Bingxu, a pioneer in combining orchestras and Chinese folk music performers in Chinese drama performances.

The music festival will last from Oct. 12 to 26, presenting a total of 21 performances.

Ba Wang Bie Ji is a romantic and tragic story based on the legend of ancient hero Xiang Yu and his beloved concubine Yu. He was defeated during his endeavors to unify China against Liu Bang, the eventual founder of the Han Dynasty over 2,400 years ago.

BEIJING, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- The 21st Beijing Music Festival opened Friday, with a new version of the traditional Peking opera Ba Wang Bie Ji (Farewell My Concubine) as its opening performance.

Instead of "innovation for innovation's sake", new features were added to better convey the spirit of the story, said Chen.