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Photographer's Note

The new opera house of Guangzhou (Canton) in southern China was designed by Zaha Hadid, probably the world's hippest architecture right now. It is one of the highlights in Zhujiang, Guangzhou's 'new city' district, which is yet another playground for the world's ultrarich.

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In April 2002 an international architectural competition attracted Coop Himmelbau, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid - each producing detailed designs. In November 2002, Zaha Hadid's "double pebble" was announced the winner and the groundbreaking ceremony was held early in 2005.

The structure was designed by Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid; its freestanding concrete auditorium set within an audacious exposed granite and glass-clad steel frame took over five years to build, and was praised upon opening by architectural critic Jonathan Glancey in The Guardian, who called it "at once highly theatrical and insistently subtle."

The theatre has become the biggest performing centre in southern China and is one of the three biggest theatres in the nation alongside Beijing's National Grand Theatre and Shanghai's Shanghai Grand Theatre.

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Meanwhile, rural poverty is only a few hours away,
waiting for the next opportunity to move to the city.
China is a country of contrasts.

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This picture shows the two giant 'pebbles' with the Guangzhou television tower in the distance and an opera poster below.

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1539 W: 34 N: 2211] (13538)
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