Traditional Chinese Opera in Tsinghua: a Day in Exchange for a Thousand Years

At the arrival of fall and winter seasons, we begin to envy the romance of the ancients: when the capital was enveloped in thick snow, sisters in A Dream of Red Mansions held parties in the Grand View Garden; when Lovers Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai spent three years at the Hongluoshan Academy, they should enjoy poems together; and when the Hegemon King said farewell to his concubine, it  added some sadness to the harsh winter.

These are now scenes restored on the stage. Since October, famous names in the world of traditional Chinese opera have performed at the New Tsinghua Auditorium, opening up for many a winter feast of sights and sounds through a thousand years of Chinese opera.

As a treasure of Chinese traditional culture, Chinese opera is highly appreciated and has much educational value. As traditional Chinese opera makes its way into campuses, it will not only help to pass on and develop Chinese traditional culture but also enrich the campus culture. It is an important resource and bearer of arts and creative education.

In 2008, the Ministry of Education began to promote Peking opera on campuses. This year, the Publicity Department of the CPC, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Culture jointly released an initiative to promote Chinese opera on university campuses. This demonstrates that the central government attaches great importance to the education of Chinese opera.

In order to spur the traditional Chinese culture and arts take root and flourish on campuses, the Chinese Opera Festival was held in Tsinghua since this autumn. The program was under the guidance of the Art Education Committee of the Ministry of Education, sponsored by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission and supported by Beijing TV Station and Haidian Culture Commission.

There are numerous outstanding repertoires in the Chinese Opera Festival, including Jiangsu Kun Opera Theater’s Peach Blossom Fan, the National Peking Opera Theater’s Phoenix Returns to the Nest, Shanghai Peking Opera Theater’s special performance of Farewell My Concubine, and Nanjing Yue Opera Troupe’s A Dream of Red Mansions. Besides, there is a Peking opera version of Notre Dame.

Among them, China Pingju Theater’s original work Mother won widely praises from the audience. As a good representative of modern Chinese opera, Mother is not only relevant to the present times with language that is easy to understand, but also keep the unique sprit of traditional Chinese opera. It combines vocal singing and drama performance, bringing fresh feelings to the audience.

Mother is a reminder of the revolutionary times in Shandong and the achievements of our predecessors there,” remarked an audience from the Institute of Microelectronics at Tsinghua. She added that many of the scenes were similar to the stories her predecessors told her, and gave her a sense of gratitude and respect.

Although the festival is over, the memory will last for a long time.

 

    Contributor

    Spotlight Group

     

    Originality

    Spotlight Group

     

    Text

    Alexis See Tho

     

    Image

    Tang Beibei, Li Na

     

    Composition

    Lu Xiaobing, Cheng Xi, Zhang Geming, Zhang Li

     

    Coordinator

    Cheng Xi

     

    Editor

    Gao Yuan