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Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador WU Haitao at the Concert of China National Opera House

(Assembly Hall, Palais des Nations, 27 November 2014)


Your Excellency Acting Director-General Mr. Møller,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good evening and welcome to the concert!

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese mission, I would like to extend our gratitude to China National Opera House for bringing us this musical feast and also to the United Nations Office at Geneva and its cultural activities committee for their support.

Music not only belongs to a nation but also belongs to the world. It transcends national borders and ethnic differences, connecting heart and soul of people.

We hope that tonight's concert will help you better understand the aspiration and pursuit of beauty and peace of the Chinese people, and build a bridge between the Chinese dream and dreams of other countries.

At today's concert, we are going to enjoy four pieces of Chinese and foreign music.

The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto is based on a well known Chinese folktale which is the Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet. Two lovers could not marry each other due to opposition from both families, but they achieved eternal reunion after their sorrow death and turned into a pair of butterflies. This violin concerto, by combining both Chinese and Western music features, expresses deep sympathy and best wishes for the lovers.

Torch Festival, an ancient folk festival of ethnic minorities in China's Yunnan province, is also called Oriental Carnival. The music Torch Festival depicts the lively scene of Chinese ethnic minorities singing and dancing in their festival costumes.

Yellow River Piano Concerto comes first at tonight's concert. It takes the Yellow River, the cradle of Chinese civilization, as its theme, embodying the spirit of tenacity and diligence of the Chinese nation, especially the unyielding heroism during the war against fascism.

The concert ends with the Fourth Movement of Beethoven's Symphony Nr. 9, the most splendid part of the great work. Next year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. I hope tonight's Ode to Joy in the Palais des Nations will express our common aspiration for a better world.

Now let's enjoy the wonderful performance of the Chinese musicians! Thank you!

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