"Music addicts," broadly defined, may be interested in a tidbit of Chinese music culture that has landed in Opus Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel: an antique music box that plays Chinese melodies like "Mo Li Hua."
Why is this so interesting, aside from being a rather niche piece of musical furniture? Wel, Swiss and German music boxes were considered a luxury during the Qing Dynasty, so only a few were made for the Chinese market. It just so happens that one of these music boxes was stolen from a Chinese residence and brought back to Europe during the Boxer Rebellion, and later, legendary Italian composer Giacomo Puccini gave it a listen. Turns out, Puccini liked what he heard and incorporated some of the music into his 1904 opera, Madama Butterfly.
What's more, the discovery that Chinese folk music had been part of a Western opera composed more than a century ago was made only two years ago. You can read more about this "cross cultural-fertilization" here if you have a VPN.
If grandma's 45rpm record collection is as cultured as you get, that's fine too. For those who find themselves at afternoon tea though, Four Seasons is giving away free Mid-Autumn Festival themed art when you get in on the Afternoon Tea Buffet, an array of savory and sweet finger food (RMB 158 + 15 percent from 3-5pm daily).
Four Seasons has been a hotbed for pop ups lately, with Wuhao making a graceful reappearance in May, so we can't wait to see what's next. We hear whisperings of a pop up menswear boutique involving Principle M and Radiance Blue, so look out here for more details soon.
Here's another odd conversational piece up for auction.
Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel
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