by Li Meini
based on the play “Faust: first part” by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
translation Fabrizio Massini

project and direction Anna Peschke
director assistant Xu Mengke
original musics composed by Luigi Ceccarelli, Alessandro Cipriani and Chen Xiaoman

scenes Anna Peschke
lights Tommaso Checcucci
costumes Akuan
props Li Jiyong
hair and make-up Ai Shuyun, Li Meng
Zhou Liya, Han Zhen

Liu Dake, Xu Mengke, Wang Lu, Zhang Jiachun

Vincenzo Core (chitarra elettrica ed elaborazione elettronica)
Wang Jihui (jinghu)
Niu LuLu (large gong)
Laura Mancini (percussioni)
Ju Meng (yueqin)
Giacomo Piermatti (contrabbasso)
Wang Xi (bangu)

technical manager Robert John Resteghini
chief stagehand Massimo Abbondanza
stagehand Alfonso Pintabuono
chief electrician Tommaso Checcucci
phonic Giampiero Berti
seamstress Li Jian

assistant director Martina Agostini
Set elements built in the Emilia Romagna Teatro laboratory by Gioacchino Gramolini
Photo Zhang Xinwei

Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione / China National Peking Opera Company

Running time 1 hour and 30 minutes
World premiere
Played in Chinese with Italian subtitles

Thanks for the collaboration to Confucio Institute


The aim of the stage director Anna Peschke is to create an original sprout towards the born of a new language between West and East. A challenge that radiates different aspects, from the start of a fruitful partnership with China National Peking Opera Company, to the possibilities lying in the act of searching into the musical and gestural alphabet of this language, any other expressive ways which seems deconstructive to our western vision of the theatre.
Scholar of the stage director and composer Heiner Goebbels, Anna Peschke (born in 1978) has already presented a version of  Woyzeck with the same group of actors; she is now investigating the masterpiece by Goethe, funneling the tensions into the “characters” of this surreal and evocative theatre. And if the Western culture is not able to express a meaning anymore, the ritual expressivity and the rigidity of the Eastern tradition will let emerge new meanings, adding energizing expressions to the contemporary understanding.

The project is based on the drama by Johann Wolfgang Goethe Faust: the first part of the Tragedy  (1749 – 1832), first published in Germany in 1808 and considered to be the most important masterpiece of German literature. Guo Moruo (1892–1978) published the complete drama in 1928 in China for the first time. From that moment on, the text has been spread as an example of Western literature, studied in the universities and reaching a big mass of audience. During a Goethe Symposium in 2010, the Chinese specialist in German studies, Zhang Yushu, said: „Goethe feels, thinks and acts as a Chinese Mandarin-poet“. This sentence witnesses the legitimacy of a link between German and Chinese culture, whose leading thread is Faust text. Although the plot is set in XXI° century, the plot of the story is timeless, independent in time, right because of its universality. As stage director, the main challenge of my resarch is the chance to work with the actors of the China National Peking Opera Company: these performers can tell a whole story only using the movements, dance, gestures. Among the peculiarities of the hard education in the Peking Opera stands the capacity of communicating everything with body, mimic and no use of spoken word. The text, in Chinese language, has been adapted in collaboration with a dramaturg form the Peking Company, who re-wrote the verses in music, in order to maintain the traditional form. Aim of this process is to read Goethe’s masterpiece through the language of Opera genre, working vis-à-vis with the actors of the company and combining the expressive forms of the tradition with the elements of German theatre and performing art. The goal for me is to create an experimental piece of theatre, an intercultural performance, an interaction between different theatre forms. This connection creates important links for a bidirectional cultural comprehension, enriching the exchange between German and Chinese culture.
Anna Peschke

Anna Peschke, biography

Anna Peschke

End of 2009 she finished her studies of Applied Theatre Science in Gießen (Germany) with best grades.
Since than, she is working as stage director for independant theatre projects in Europe and Asia, which cross the traditional borders of genres, finding new forms in the intersection of theatre, installation, visual art and scenical concert.
Since 2012 Peschke is working in the field of chinese opera, espacially jīngjù.
In 2015 she won the „award for theatre and dance of the city of Stuttgart and the province Baden-Württemberg“. In 2011 Peschke received the „Berlin Award of Opera“.