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Peking Opera rings in Lunar New Year

02-01-2014 18:55 BJT Special Report: 2014 Spring Festival |

Well, you might be familiar with New Year concerts, but how about "lunar" New Year concerts? We look now at "Dragon and Phoenix" by the Beijing Peking Opera Company, which marked the first day of the Chinese New Year at Beijing’s Chang'an Grand Theater on Friday.

The opera "Dragon and Phoenix" is adapted from the Chinese classic "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms". It’s based on the story of the marriage between Liu Bei, the King of Shu, to the sister of the King of Wu. It takes place in a time when the country was politically divided among three factions headed by Sun Quan, Liu Bei and Cao Cao. Sun Quan plans to use the marriage as a trap to capture Liu Bei, but is outwitted by Cao cao, and the marriage becomes a reality.

"My wife passed away a few years ago and my son is working. So he bought me tickets to a Peking Opera because he knows I enjoy it a lot." An audience said.

One reason for the opera’s enduring popularity is its display of a full range of Chinese operatic roles. They include the "sheng" male roles, the "jing" masked roles, as well as the "dan" female roles. Mrs. Wang Rongrong has played the young female role of Sun Shangxiang for over thirty years, but her interpretation of the young woman has only become more precise.

"I’ve done this role hundreds of times, and both my technique and understanding of the role have really matured. I think each of those performances reflected my growth during each time." Said Wang Rongrong, Peking Opera artist.

Mrs. Wang has trained with Master Zhang Junqiu, who laid the foundation for the Zhang style of Peking opera. Peking opera is known for its various schools of styles. Many of the Peking opera forefathers created their own styles according to their vocal or physical characteristics, and passed them down from generation to generation.

"Mrs. Wang is a famous Peking opera star now. I once saw a performance put on entirely by her and her nine students. I’ve always loved Peking Opera. And where else better to be than here on New Year!" Another audience said.

And it’s not just on New Year. "Dragon and Phoenix" has also in recent years become a tradition for Valentine’s Day. A version by the China National Beijing Opera Company will be staged at the Meilanfang Theater on February 14th.


Editor:James |Source:

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