In Conversation with Lyndon Terracini

Chen Shi-Zheng

May 24, 2021

Chen Shi-Zheng is a visionary in the truest sense of the term. The Chinese-born director is known around the world for the extraordinary universes he brings to the stage in his deeply moving productions.

In this conversation with Opera Australia’s Artistic Director, Lyndon Terracini, Chen reveals the life experiences that have influenced his unique perspective as a director. Starting with his turbulent childhood in China, Chen explains how he went from studying to be a Chinese opera singer to creating his own productions on the world stage. He also talks about his landmark production of the 22-hour Chinese epic The Peony Pavilion, and how it led him to direct Wagner’s Ring Cycle.

Later this year, Chen will become the first Chinese director to ever take on the Ring Cycle. In this conversation, he shares his vision for the production and the eclectic influences he’s drawing on to create a surprising new experience for audiences.

Chen also performs a popular Mongolian song, accompanied by Tahu Matheson.

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