China's Zhang Yimou set to direct Turandot in Taiwan

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Chinese film director Zhang Yimou is expected to stage a version of Turandot in Taiwan in the first leg of a world tour of his acclaimed production, a Taiwanese official said Thursday.

Two performances of Giacomo Puccini's opera - which ends with Nessun Dorma, one of the world's best-known tenor arias - are scheduled for March 27 and 28 in Taichung, the city's cultural affairs bureau said.

"We are looking forward to having Zhang's Turandot staged in Taichung. It would be the first stop of a world tour of the Bird's Nest version of Turandot," said official Hsu Shih-shun, adding that Zhang would supervise the production personally.

The production at the Bird's Nest Olympic stadium in Beijing in October 2009 differed markedly from a critically acclaimed version of Turandot Zhang directed in the Forbidden City in 1998, according to Chinese media.

The Bird's Nest version features advanced sound and light effects and uses 32 projectors to provide various scenes in the opera, a local promoter said.

Promoters of the event are planning to stage Turandot, the love story of a Chinese princess, in South Korea, Australia and Europe.

Zhang, nominated three times for an Oscar for best foreign film, is also known for directing the 2008 Games opening ceremony and for blockbusters such as "Hero" and the "House of Flying Daggers".