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2011 - The 10th Taishin Art AwardFinalists
National Symphony Orchestra[ 2011TIFA-NSO Opera Concert—Elektra ]
Taishin Bank Foundation for Arts and Culture

''National Symphony Orchestra''
Richard Strauss’s dark, early 20th-century rendition of Elektra is one of the canonical works of Western opera. Its performance was highlighted in the Taiwan International Festival of Arts, providing Taiwanese audiences with a new musical experience. Elektra is a large-scale and difficult work, and thus an orchestra's ability to perform the work demonstrates its stature. The NSO’s production marked an unprecedented milestone for Taiwan’s local orchestras: its singers had to contend with a 110-member symphony orchestra while delivering the optimal balance of Greek tragedy and dramatic conflict.

The staging of the performance added an element of visual artistry to its presentation: in order to deliver a whole new sensory experience for the audience, it broke the mold of a typical opera concert through the use of a projection screen hung from the ceiling, on which the story was told with its various twists and turns, illustrating the unlimited possibilities of visual art within a limited space.

Jury's comments

Praised as the pinnacle of orchestra music at the end of the century, Elektra is the most avant-garde and revolutionary work by composer Richard Strauss. Not only is the music complex and difficult, the orchestration techniques also reach new heights. However, this piece is not well received by the general audience, and the music itself poses a great challenge to the orchestra and singer. Performing the opera in the format of a concert is especially a great test for the production team.

A platform was located in front of the stage so that the solo singer was closer to the audience. The orchestra was seated at the far back end of the venue, so that the orchestra, singer, and conductor were perfectly positioned. Lu, Shao-Chia, the conductor, brought out the greatest potential and coherence from the performers, and balanced the powerful sound of the orchestra and the singer. Lu was able to present the intricate layer of the complex music and gain acclaim from audiences. The uninterrupted 100-minute performance is not merely a premiere; it is a new milestone for the orchestra and Taiwan’s music circle.   Committee member: Li, Qiu-Mei



About National Symphony Orchestra
Through 20 years of hard work and dedication, the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO), also known as Taiwan Philharmonic, stages approximately 80 productions each year, ranging from symphonies to chamber music and operas, and becomes a leading cultural and artistic institution. It has staged the Der Ring des Nibelungen in its entireity and collaborated with world-class opera houses for its multinational productions, such as Der Rosenkavalier with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, a feat that has earned a place in the Taiwan’s music history.

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