Shanghai World Expo 2010>Tourism
UPDATED: April 27, 2010 Web Exclusive
Expo 2010: A Cultural Feast
Visitors to the Shanghai World Expo have more than 20,000 performances to choose from

Wu Jiatong, General Manager of Wu Promotion (SHI GANG)

The Shanghai World Expo will kick off on May 1, 2010. During the Expo, more than 20,000 performances will be presented, with half of them coming from participating countries and international organizations.

Wu Promotion Co. Ltd., one of the leading private concert promotion agencies in China, is the organization behind most of the performances from European countries.

Growing prosperity

Founded in Beijing in 1991, Wu Promotion has witnessed the development of the culture industry in China.

According to Wu Jiatong, General Manager of Wu Promotion, his company presented the first symphony concert in the Beijing Concert Hall in 1991. The majority of the audience was college students. Today, more classical music performances are presented in different cities across the country and the audiences have become more diverse.

"The demand for cultural products is growing as society develops," Wu said.

At Expo 2010, different countries will showcase their achievements and try to boost their image. It is also a valuable opportunity for foreigners to learn about Chinese culture, Wu said.

"The Expo gives China a chance to communicate with top art troupes from foreign countries and to introduce Chinese culture to the world," Wu said.

A spectacular event

In cooperation with Cologne Opera, which serves as Germany's cultural ambassador to the Shanghai World Expo 2010, Wu Promotion will presents audiences in China  Der Ring des Nibelungen, a masterpiece which highlights the history of musical theater in Europe.

As the largest cultural production planned for the Expo, Der Ring des Nibelungen is actually four separate operas performed over four nights. Expo visitors can choose between two cycles.

According to Wu, the decision to stage the performance for eight consecutive days bears a certain commercial risk.

"I'm not sure whether there will be enough viewers and can't predict how many people will come," he told Beijing Review. "But I believe the cultural significance of introducing Der Ring des Nibelungen to China is much more important than its commercial benefits.

"We all hope that Expo 2010, the largest Expo in history, will be a successful, exciting, and memorable event," Wu continued. "So it deserves first-class classical music performances, like Der Ring des Nibelungen."

As the most significant cultural event during the Shanghai Expo, Der Ring des Nibelungen has obtained huge support from the International Association of Wagner Societies, as it will be the debut for Der Ring des Nibelungen in Asia.

In addition to the Chinese audience, fans from 136 Wagner societies worldwide will come to watch Der Ring des Nibelungen in Shanghai during their visit to the Expo site, according to Wu.

A world stage

Along with Der Ring des Nibelungen, Wu Promotion is also responsible for presenting a variety of performances in European pavilions, including performances by the Cullberg Ballet from Sweden and the Basel Symphony Orchestra from Switzerland.

According to the official Expo website, an average of about 100 performances will be held every day during the 184-day event.

Every participating country will set a day as its national pavilion day. On that day, the country will present excellent artistic performances along with protocol activities, such as flag-raising ceremonies, to showcase the essence of its culture.

"Expo 2010 provides us a platform to capture the beauty and diversity of the world's cultures," Wu said. "Every country wants to show its best side during the Expo session, and the cultural performances are the best way for visitors to better appreciate the diversified global culture."

Note: Der Ring des Nibelungen will show at the Shanghai Grand Theatre from September 16 to 19 and again from September 21 to 24. For more information, please visit

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