Legendary musician Xu Jingqing promised his sold out “Journey to the West” concert would be a new experience for audiences after his 30-year-old dream to hold such concert was funded online.
A poster of Xu Jingqing’s “Journey to the West” concert. [Photo / China.org.cn]
The man who created the iconic soundtrack to the popular TV series “Journey to the West” will finally hold his concert on Sunday and Monday nights thanks to the help of crowdfunding, which raised more than 4.6 million yuan (US$668,200) from more than 29,000 internet users as the basic fund for his team to operate the project, a little less than his desired goal of 5 million yuan (US$726,300).
74-year-old Xu was still worried that he might not break even until he was told on Thursday that the tickets for the two concerts were almost sold out.
The delighted musician said he would add some new arrangements to his classic music to give his audiences a new journey. Some songs will be adapted into rock ‘n’ roll versions, some will have modern elements and some solos will be changed into duets. He has been in studio re-recording and re-arranging his music for months.
The director Li Xiang said he designed the stage and performances in detail and would reenact some scenes from the original TV series. Zhang Fengshan, the original costume designer for the TV series, will helm the designing again for this concert.
“Of course we will also integrate some new and fashionable modern elements into the concert, which will add to the artistic, poetic and aesthetic effects,” he added.
The concert will be held at the Great Hall of the People, the large building on Tian’anmen Square for China’s parliament activities and big events in Beijing.
Dai Yuqiang, a Chinese operatic tenor and the only Chinese student of Luciano Pavarotti, will come and sing at the concert, along with other famous tenor Ding Yi, as well as singer Yang Hongji, folk song diva Zu Hai, singers Zhong Liyan, Chun Lei, Yang Qianlin, Mao Yihan, Huang Qiwen and more. Huang Lijie, co-founder and chief conductor of the Asia Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) will conduct his orchestra to perform.
The composer had sought help from internet users and some entrepreneurs for years to fund his dream but every time he tried he became more disappointed when they disappeared out of fear the concert would be a disaster in box office. At the same time, rampant online piracy and low licensing fees collected from the internet hadn’t given Xu much financial leverage.
When a crowdfunding partner Modian.com and several cultural companies stepped in this year, Xu’s dream finally came within reach.
If the Beijing concerts succeed, Xu Jingqing said he would take it on tour in other cities in China.