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Introducing musicals to China

2012-10-25 15:02 CRIENGLISH.com     Web Editor: yaolan comment
Cats is the latest import of classic musicals by the China Arts and Entertainment Group.

"Cats" is the latest import of classic musicals by the China Arts and Entertainment Group.

Mama Mia was the first international musical hit to have a Chinese version.

"Mama Mia" was the first international musical hit to have a Chinese version.

When musicals from Broadway and the West End were first introduced to China about ten years ago, local companies could only profit from ticket sales. And for those who are not familiar with foreign languages, the musicals were a bit hard to understand. But now you can easily purchase a pair of tickets to their localized versions, where Chinese cast members sing Chinese lyrics to the musical classics. Let's find out more.

Chinese cast, Chinese lyrics.

"Cats" is the latest import of classic musicals by the China Arts and Entertainment Group. But it was a long and winding road to get here.

Tim Mcfarlane, Managing Director, Really Useful Group Asia Pacific said, "The show we've planned and put together. In just a few short years. The objective always was to do a production that was as good as "Cats" in any other country."

To import a musical takes much more than putting on a show. From cast recruiting, stage managing, sound engineering to official merchandise, Chinese promotion companies were simply not capable of handling it alone.

It took almost ten years for the China Arts and Entertainment Group to introduce "Cats" to the Chinese market.

Zhang Yu, President & G.M., China Arts & Entertainment Group said, "When we were first involved in the music industry, we acted as intermediary parties. We recommend outstanding local shows and exchanged information with foreign promoters, which was only part of the whole business. We couldn't take control at all. That's when we decided to develop ourselves."

"Things started to get better when we founded a subsidiary company that concentrated on musical projects. We even made deals with several theatres in major Chinese cities as part of our cooperative partners, so we could better organize tours."

CAEG operates its musical projects the same way as its western counterparts do. "Mama Mia" was the first international musical hit to have a Chinese version. The show toured in China in 2011 and was recognized as a box-office wonder, and "Cats" is following in its footsteps.

After a decade of hard work from the promoters and booking agencies, musical fans in China are finally able to enjoy world class productions without language barriers.

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