Tales from the Beijing Opera

Circle Events for Schools

Tales from the Beijing Opera Noon

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Bowker Auditorium   
$6 Children; $8 Adults

Dedicated to bringing Chinese and American artists together to produce theatre that promotes cultural exchange and artistic exploration, "Tales from the Beijing Opera" is a bilingual adaptation of traditional Beijing Operas. The performance will consist of scenes from two popular Chinese operas, "Monkey and Pigsy," a selection from China's most beloved story, Journey to the West, and "Farewell My Concubine," the classic tale of tragic love between the General Xiang Yu and his concubine, Yu Ji.

Beijing Opera is a comprehensive art form combining elements of dance, acrobatics, stage combat, mime and dialogue. One of the many opera forms that exists throughout China, it was developed 200 years ago when Beijing was a center for theatrical activity.

An amalgamation of several types of local drama popular at the time, Beijing Opera has a reputation for being rowdy and colorful. The costumes and make-up are elaborate, but the scenery and props are sparse, employing conventions that use the imaginations of both the audience and the actors. Divided into two types, civil and military, the stories implemented in Beijing Opera are taken from history, mythology and literature.