A collaboration with the National Theatre of China and Arts Centre Melbourne to create possibly the world’s first fully bilingual musical theatre production in Chinese and English, in 2013 Cho Cho, won two of the inaugural “Australian Arts in Asia Awards” which were presented by the then Australian Minister for the Arts.

Set in 1930s Shanghai, the production is an updated version of Cho Cho San, Australian writer Daniel Keene’s 1980s reworking of the story of Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly. The show explores the theme of cross cultural misunderstanding leading ultimately to tragedy.

The imaginative staging of Cho Cho encompassed theatre, music and puppetry. It starred Australian musical theatre star Scott Irwin (Hairspray), and Chinese pop star Wang Zheng. The director was Peter Wilson (King Kong puppetry) and the production featured an original music score by Chinese composer Cheng Jin.

Cho Cho premiered at the National Theatre of China in 2012 followed by seasons at the Shenzhen Festival (China) and Arts Centre Melbourne.

Production Team


Carrillo Gantner AO (Executive Producer, Australia)
Tim Brinkman (Executive Producer, Australia)
Zhou Yuyuan (Executive Producer, China)

Ziyin Gantner (Producer, Australia)
Li Jia’Ou (Producer, China)

Rob Gebert (Co-Producer, Australia)
Fu Weibo (Co-Producer, China)

Shen Yaowei (Production Coordinator)


Daniel Keene (Playwright)
Cheng Jin (Composer)
Peter Wilson (Director)

Richard Jeziorny (Designer)
Wang Qi (Lighting Designer)
Wang Zhaohui (Chinese Script)

Lech Mackiewicz (Re-rehearsal Director for Australian Season)
David Piper (Musical Director)

Felix Ching Ching Ho (Assistant to the Director)

Tour Management

Australian Tour

Paul Champion (Touring Producer)
Lee-Anne Donnolley (Touring Producer)
Ian Scobie (Director, Arts Projects Australia)
Nicholas Filsell (Technical Manager)
Hsia Ling Woo (Stage Manager)

NTC Crew

Wang Pu (Production Manager)
Zhang Tianlong (Chinese Company Manager)
Wang Jiaxin (Assistant to Production Manager)


Scott Irwin (Pinkerton)Wang Zheng (Cho Cho)
David Whitney (Sharpless)
Du He (Guma)
Dong Wenliang (Luo Shu)
Danielle Barnes (Kate & Bar Singer)
Han Xing (Puppeteer)