Peking Opera Gala
25 April 2015
SOAS University of
UK Research and Development Centre for Chinese Traditional Culture
Chinese-British Opera Association
School of Oriental and African Studies Chinese Student & School Association
Chinese-British Opera Association held a Peking Opera Gala at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Opera fans from London and nearby areas gathered together and expressed their national quintessence in the beautiful Huqin music and the singing. The Chinese-British Opera Association was founded by the famous Chinese luthier player, Qiu Zenghui, who once brought Jinghu performance in the Royal Albert Hall and the British Parliament. This a cappella-style gala was initiated and organized by Ms. Qiu and was strongly supported by the Opera Club of the School of Asian and African Studies, University of London. Ms. Qiu led the performance team to provide live accompaniment. Nearly 50 opera lovers from London and nearby regions were invited to sing about 20 classic pieces of Peking Opera.
Liu Chengyu, a young Peking opera lover, visiting scholar in London, kicked off the concert with a well-known excerpt "Going to the Roof". Ms. Lu Ming's "Taizhen Waizhuan" has a beautiful and mellow voice with beautiful words and lyrical style; Zhang Kewei's "Hong Yang Cave" and Sun Haili's "Wen Zhaoguan" were profound and vibrant, full of Yang school's voice. Clare Wen’s Cheng Pai "Suolin Nang" is poignant, beautiful and unique; Qianghua’s " "The Literature Club" was high-pitched and colourful, highlighting the splendor of Zhang style opera. Dr Xia Yajun and his wife Deng Lan from the University of Cambridge collaborated in the scene of "Shi Lang Visiting His Mother". Yu Lu, a young teacher at the Confucius Institute at the London School of Economics and Political Science, was well-known in China as a "Little Peking Opera Genius" at a young age. She sang Yupai's classic play "Yuchang Sword" with solid skills and sophisticated accents.
There were also many non-Chinese fans in the event.Thomas Stell is a British guy. He has studied Peking Opera and played the Dan role for nearly two years. He sang "The Heavenly Girl Scattering Flowers", which was representative of the Mei-style sweet and tranquil voice.
It reached the climax when the British overseas leaders, the honorary president of the Association, Dr. Shan Sheng, who was in his 80s, took the stage to sing "Empty Fort Strategy ". Ms. Shan Guiqiulin, Dean of the British Institute of Chinese Traditional Culture, led the audience to sing "Su Sanqi Jie" together, drawing a wonderful end to the event. Ms. Fang Xin from the Cultural Section of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the UK, on behalf of Mr. Xiang Xiaowei, the Minister Counselor of the Cultural Section, attended the gala and sent sincere greetings to the Chinese and foreign friends, and presented books to the Association to encourage and support the Chinese-British Opera Association Continue to promote the art of Chinese opera overseas.
In the future, the association will continue to promote the charm of Chinese opera through performances, lectures, workshops and so on. It will take the promotion of traditional Chinese culture in the British Isles as its mission, building a bridge in Chinese-English communication.