With a history of over 200 years, Peking Opera is one China's national treasures. The Chinese people have always revered the traditional art form, and a visit to the Peking Opera theater is regularly on the itineraries of tourists from around the world.
However, in modern days, Peking Opera is facing big challenges. With the development of new forms of entertainment and performing arts, traditional art forms like Peking Opera are getting less attention and viewers.
Peking Opera is a complex art, and it requires something of it's audience. The more one understands about Peking Opera and Chinese culture, the more rewarding a performance would be for the viewer. This can make Peking Opera feel foreign, inaccessible and complicated -- even for a Chinese person! But when the mystery is lifted on Peking Opera, what unfolds is an incredible art form full of richness.
In this episode, we aim to provide a basic introduction to the complex art of Peking Opera. We discuss the history, the different types of characters, instruments, and conventions. Eyee and Xiaojun are joined in the Crossover studio by professional Peking Opera singers in their stunning and colorful costumes. They perform opera and demonstrate some basic movements. Even Xiaojun tries! By presenting these basics, we hope we provide a window into Chinese culture so you too can begin to appreciate this ancient art form. You don't even need to travel to China!
We also discuss the future of Peking Opera with our panel of guests. How do we revive this art form?
Our guests for this episode are:
Colin Mackerras, Australian Sinologist, teaching at Renmin University of China
Raymond Zhou, a renowned performing arts critic and Executive Editor of China Daily
Tan Xiaoyu, Peking Opera performer, "Tan School" descendent
Ding Ruichang: Beijing Normal University Student, amateur Peking Opera performer