BEIJING, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- The famous opera "Turandot" debuted at the National Stadium, or Bird's Nest Tuesday evening to celebrate the New China's 60th founding anniversary, under the direction of Zhang Yimou, the director of Beijing's Olympic Games opening ceremony.
The opera began at about 7:30 p.m. The composing team set up a 1,000 square meter screen with 40 million pixels and 32 projectors at the stadium.
"The Brid's Nest version of the 'Turandot' brings to the audience a completely new audio-visual feast with modern and fashionable elements," said Zhang.
Nearly 1,000 performers participated in the opera, including the Italian conductor Janos Acs and well-known Chinese singers. The total investment of the opera reaches 120 million yuan (17.57 million U.S. dollars).
"Turandot" will still be on stage at the National Stadium on Wednesday and will be on show in Shanghai next May.
It is not the first time Zhang has directed the opera, which was composed by Italian Giacomo Puccini. He first staged the opera at the Forbidden City in 1998.
Turandot, an ancient fable that originated in Persia but set in China, tells of a princess so desirable that men came in their hundreds, from all over the world, and queued to vie for her love. A suitor had to answer three vexing riddles -- and anyone who failed to do so was decapitated and his head wound up on a stake, as a warning to those still in line.
Puccini said the melody of Chinese folk song would be one of the important musical themes of "Turandot", which was left unfinished in the second scene of the third act when Puccini died in 1924.