SHANGHAI, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Robert Wilson, an avant-garde American experimental theater stage director, is preparing an upcoming Chinese musical "The Impossible Black Tulip" in Shanghai, commissioned by the China Shanghai International Arts Festival.
"The Impossible Black Tulip" refers to an ancient map of China. In 1602, Li Zhizao, a Chinese scholar of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), worked together with Italian missionary Ricci Matteo on drawing out the first map of the world in Chinese, which put China in the very center of the universe.
"The musical is divided into three acts, and the preliminary preparation has been carried out for two years," Wilson said, adding that the initial preparations including writing the script and lyrics have been completed.
The musical will celebrate the convergence of culture, religion and science between the East and the West, as well as the common faith and courage of those two scholars, he said.
Noting the map tells a "timeless story," Wilson said the musical would integrate the cultural elements and beautiful scenery of both China and Italy. "The production will be a journey from West to East, and an opportunity for the Western world to learn more of Chinese culture."
The world premiere of the musical is expected to hit the stage in November 2020.
The 78-year-old director has been honored with numerous awards for excellence, including the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale.