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(photo by Michael Cooper)

Chinese visual and performance artist makes his directorial debut with Canadian Opera Company production of SEMELE (photo by Michael Cooper)

Who: Zhang Huan and the Canadian Opera Company
What: Semele
Where: BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 230 Lafayette Ave., 718-636-4100
When: March 4-10, $35-$170
Why: Chinese visual and performance artist Zhang Huan brings a distinctly Chinese look and feel to the Canadian Opera Company’s multimedia production of George Frideric Handel and William Congreve’s Semele, the Greek myth about the love affair between the god Jupiter and the mortal Semele, which does not make Jupiter’s wife, Juno, very happy. In his directorial debut, Zhang, who works in Shanghai and New York City, re-creates an authentic 17-ton, 450-year-old Ming Dynasty temple as part of the set, while also incorporating a Chinese dragon and sumo wrestlers. The opera is conducted by Christopher Moulds, with costumes by fashion designer Han Feng, and lighting by Willem Laarman based on Wolfgang Göbbel’s original design; coloratura soprano Jane Archibald plays Semele, with Colin Ainsworth as Jupiter and Hilary Summers as Juni/Ino. The three-hour opera will be performed March 4, 6, 8, and 10; Neil Kutner and Paul Bartlett will lead the master class “Semele: Behind the Scenes” on March 8 at 10:00 am at BAM Fisher ($45).

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  1. Hope Colin will play well.

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