Hsinhai – a Revolutionary Opera

Gustav Amann, The Legacy of Sun Yatsen, Montreal, New York, 1929

Currently reading. If you can provide information about who Gustav Amann was, please write to duibudui@hotmail.de, or comment at the end of this post.

Main Link: Enorth (Tianjin), November 12, 2010 »

A television history series of epic dimensions (大型史诗电视连续剧) is currently shot in Tianjin, about the Hsinhai Revolution (Xinhai Revolution, 辛亥革命) – the one that started with the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911. It is still the Republic of China’s national holiday, celebrated in Taiwan. China has come back to some Republican Chinese traditions, probably both to the end of  rediscovering its own history, and for the purpose of emphasizing common customs with Taiwan, the country it aims to annex sooner or later (a goal commonly referred to in the Chinese media and sometimes beyond as Taiwan’s return to the motherland.

Perfect revolutionaries leave nothing to chance. The television series is jointly produced by Tianjin’s Municipal Propaganda Department and Tianjin Television. Chief planner Xiao Huaiyuan (肖怀远) told the set that

he hoped that all comrades of the crew would be involved in the production with a high sense of responsibility, participate with all their energy, strive for perfection, make every effort to produce an ideological, artistic and admirable and decorative work of outstanding quality to offer up a munificent present to the Revolution’s 100th birthday.

Another scene of production was or is the Guangdong Guild Hall (广东会馆, Guǎngdōng Huìguǎn), where more than 200 actors (probably many of them supernumeraries), took part on Wednesday local time. It is referred to as the Guangdong Guild Hall the in the Enorth article,  which was frequented by Sun Yatsen […] and other Guangdong revolutionaries,  according to a cityguide for foreigners. It now houses the site of the Tianjin Opera Museum (天津戏剧博物馆).

The Enorth article would seem to suggest that nothing revolutionary (in terms of artistic innovation) should be expected. Just like an opera performance, a restoration of the true history (真实还原历史) is mentioned as the goal of the production, and lots of technical and decorative measures are listed as evidence for the likely success of this goal.

The set will reportedly stay in Tianjin until early December, and then move on to Wuhan (the scene of the Wuchang Uprising), to Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shanghai, as well as Vietnam, Japan and America. Filming is scheduled to end in March next year, to get its final polishing then, writes Enorth.

The production started in Fuxin, Liaoning Province, on September 20. It is directed by Jackie Chan (成龙).


The Enorth article by Zhang Fan (张帆), originally published by Tianjin Daily (天津日报), contains a number of photos.


APEC: Lien, Hu touched uponXinhai Revolution, KMT, Nov 17, 2010
Gang then, Dynasty now, May 12, 2010
Propaganda will… (Spiritual Civilization), August 9, 2009

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