Zubin Metha directs Hui He AIDA in China at Beijing NCPA "Pearl on the water"

When it comes to Italian operas, Aida is said to be the very first choice people make.
He Hui as Aida (left) and Jorge De Leon as Radames

The Verdi masterpiece was staged in Beijing  in january 24th 2015 by the National Center for the Performing Arts. An all-star cast was led led by Chinese soprano He Hui, playing the world-renowned princess. 

Two princesses of belligerent countries, a common sweetheart-a crucial choice has to be made in ancient east Africa. When a love story is set against the background of war, there’s always massive dramatic conflict to be expected. Verdi’s music bestowed it some more power and without doubt, guaranteed its brilliance.
Aida has been put on stage in China both in theaters and in outdoor stadiums several times. Among the highlights this time will be He Hui starring as the title role.
The 42-year-old soprano is one of the few Chinese to be top billed on the world stage, hailed by European critics to be “the best Aida we have for our time”.
New York Times once commented: He Hui has a plush, vibrant voice with steely power when called for. Her singing combined musical refinement with impetuous temperament’.
He Hui elaborates her connection with the character. “As we all know, Aida is a princess, disguised as a slave, actually a hostage living in her enemy country. My own nature resembles that of Aida’s very much, singing operas in foreign countries during the past decade. Many sopranos find the aria ‘O patria Mia’ very demanding. But I enjoy it because when I sing it I was really thinking of China. Now I’m back in China and very proud to stand on my own land interpreting the role. It’s a meaningful event.”
Conductor Zubin Mehta handpicked He Hui to join the cast. The maestro will hold the baton for NCPA’s production of Aida himself. He Hui explains, “As early as in 2001, after we collaborated on Aida during Florence May Festival’s opening performance of Aida, Maestro Mehta mentioned to me this future production at NCPA. I have been looking forward to this collaboration ever since.”
Also shining in the spotlight were tenor Jorge De Leon who was cast as Aida’s lover Radames, mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya as Aida’s bitter rival, Amneris, Carlos Almaguer as Amonasro and Tian Haojiang as Ramfis.