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Conrad Tao will perform with the Utah Symphony at BYU on Jan. 5 and at Abravanel Hall on Jan. 6-7. Courtesy of Ruiming Wang
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Silk & Spices Festival explores China in music, dance, film, food and more
Arts » Utah Symphony | Utah Opera’s Silk & Spices Festival opens this weekend.
First Published Jan 25 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Jan 28 2014 09:16 am

Utah Symphony | Utah Opera will celebrate the music and arts of China in the Silk & Spices Festival, kicking off with a Utah Symphony concert on Friday, Jan. 31 — the first night of the Chinese New Year — and continuing until April 22. The multidisciplinary festival, which includes Utah Opera’s March production of the Puccini opera "Turandot," also will feature lectures, dance concerts, film screenings and food presented by other Salt Lake City-area arts organizations and restaurants.

Past festivals spearheaded by US | UO have focused on diverse topics such as the Faust legend, Shakespeare and the contributions of women to the arts.

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A calendar of events:

‘The Five Elements’ » Utah Symphony concerts will feature Qigang Chen’s "Wu Xing (Five Elements)," which explores the belief that the five elements of water, metal, air, wood and fire control the phenomena and create connections in life. Thierry Fischer conducts the performances, which also feature Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Conrad Tao. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, 8 p.m.; Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $18-$55 ($5 more on concert day); utahsymphony.org.

Chinese New Year Festival » A celebration of the holiday with music, dance and crafts. Saturday, Feb. 1, 2-4 p.m.; Salt Lake City Main Library, 210 E. 400 South; free; slcpl.org.

Trade and Travel on the Silk Road » Lecture by curator Luke Kelly, workshop for teachers and tour of Silk Road-inspired art. Wednesday, Feb. 5, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City; free, but registration is required; umfa.utah.edu or 801-585-7163.

‘The Turandot Project’ » Documentary film about Zhang Yimou’s 1998 production of "Turandot" in Beijing’s Forbidden City, where the opera had been banned for decades; a Q&A with Utah Opera artistic director Christopher McBeth will follow. Tuesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.; Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium, 210 E. 400 South; free; utahfilmcenter.org.

Shen Yun » The touring troupe portrays 5,000 years of Chinese civilization through classical Chinese dance and music. Tuesday and Wednesday, March 4-5; Weber State University Browning Center, 1905 University Circle, Ogden; tickets start at $50; tickets.shenyun.com/event/shen-yun-2014-ogden-2014.

Online learning » Lessons by Sue Neimoyer of the University of Utah School of Music will give background on Puccini’s "Turandot" in connection with the Utah Opera production. Free; available February through April at utahopera.org/onlinelearning.

‘Turandot’ » Utah Opera presents Puccini’s final opera, the story of an icy princess who poses a series of three riddles to her suitors and has them put to death if they answer incorrectly. March 15, 17, 19 and 21, 7:30 p.m., and March 23, 2 p.m.; Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City; $18-$83 ($5 more on performance day); utahopera.org. With 30-minute pre-performance lectures by principal coach Carol Anderson and post-performance Q&A sessions with artistic director Christopher McBeth.

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Pre-opera Southern Chinese dinner » Dine and learn about southern Chinese fare. Wednesday, March 19, 5:30-7 p.m.; Hong Kong Tea House, 565 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City; $30 per person, including tip; 801-533-NOTE.

Utah Chinese Folk Orchestra » Traditional Chinese instruments and music. Monday, March 24, 7 p.m.; Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $10 adults and $5 youth; 801-533-NOTE.

‘Farewell My Concubine’ » Screening of Chen Kaige’s 1993 film spanning 50 years in the lives of two Peking Opera stars. Tuesday, March 25, 6 p.m.; Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium, 210 E. 400 South; free; utahfilmcenter.org.

‘The Three Questions’ » Children’s Dance Theatre brings to life the story of a Chinese boy who must answer three questions to become emperor. Friday and Saturday, March 28-29, 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee March 29; Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City; tickets start at $17, with half-price admission for children 12 and younger; arttix.org.

Chinese Music for Western Instruments » Utah Symphony associate principal second violinist Wen Yuan Gu joins pianist Hsiang Tu. Monday, March 31, 7 p.m.; Abravanel Hall, 123 W. South Temple, Salt Lake City; $10 adults and $5 youth; 801-533-NOTE.

Utah’s Pioneer Silk Industry and Modern Silk Art » Demonstration by silk spinner Judy Guinn, Lisa Buckmiller of Centerville’s Thomas Whitaker Museum and silk artist Anna Marie Coronado. Saturday, April 12, 10 a.m.-noon; Utah Opera Production Studios, 336 N. 400 West, Salt Lake City; $5; 801-533-NOTE.

Northern Chinese dinner » See South Salt Lake’s new Chinatown and feast while learning about northern Chinese dining. Thursday, April 17, 5:30-7 p.m.; Ho Mei, 3370 S. State, South Salt Lake; $30 per person, including tip; 801-533-NOTE.

‘Hero’ » Screening of Zhang Yimou’s colorful 2002 martial-arts film; a Q&A session with fight choreographer Paul Kiernan will follow. Tuesday, April 22, 7 p.m.; Salt Lake City Main Library auditorium, 210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City; free; utahfilmcenter.org.

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