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Hear us at the Opera House


LEC will take part in the Australian premiere of the Ask the Sky and the Earth concert at the Sydney Opera House on 16 July 2012. Featuring a large symphony orchestra and chorus, this grand work conveys the human story of the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. 

Ask the Sky and the Earth is unique in that grapples with this difficult history while engaging the audience in an accessible musical language. It has more memorable melodies per square inch than the best of Broadway musicals. It conveys both the idealism and the darkness of the era, using a musical language that evokes the music of the time, giving the Australian listener an unusual glimpse into what it was like to be young in China during the late 1960s.

Four decades ago, at the call of Chairman Mao Zedong, close to 20 million of China’s urban youth of middle- and high-school age streamed into the countryside to participate in the “up to the mountains and down to the villages” movement. These young men and women passed the precious years of their youth as agricultural labourers, sacrificing formal education. It was a unique lesson in life—full of idealism and hardship, drenched by tears and sweat, by turns tragic, romantic, dazed, and ecstatic. Ask the Sky and the Earth attempts to convey the spirit of this epoch, the sentiments of an entire generation as they think back upon their youths and “give thanks to life, give thanks to the land.” 

Why is it important that Australians understand the Cultural Revolution? It broadens our worldview—true. But there’s an even more simple answer: it’s our history too. A vast number of Australians are connected to this history. It’s rarely discussed—it’s hard to talk about, and the language barrier makes it harder— but it’s there. It’s time we made it our own.

For further information or to book tickets, click here to go to the Opera House website.

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