Jingju and Kunqu Open Mike for All
20 May 2012
UK Limkokwing University of Creative Technology
UK Research and Development Centre for Chinese Traditional Culture
London Jing Kun Opera Association
On the afternoon of 20th May, opera enthusiasts gathered at UK Limkokwing University of Creative Technology for the unique opera series of events hosted by UKCTC. It was the fourth session of the series and also one of the celebration events for the Tenth Anniversary of the London Jing Kun Opera Association.
During the event, Jing opera specialists and enthusiasts showed their high standards of performance. Chongxin Cao impressed the audience with Jing opera pieces “Li Kui Visits Mother” and " The Millionaire Ruse”. Her Li style of Old Lady’s role was very moving. The two masterpieces of the Cheng singing style sung by Dr Ping Hua brought to the audience the dramatic portrayal of qingyi's charmof that particular style. Jun Ai sang traditional Older Male role pieces from the Yu school of singing which emphasises clear enunciation, and the Xi school well known for its elegance. Some complimented Ming Lu's lyrical singing of the Mei school "The Heavenly Maiden Scatters Flowers” as ‘heavenlymusic’. Kathy Hall demonstrated her strong artistic skills with a precise yet glamorous delineation of the renowned Mei school masterpiece "The Drunken Imperial Concubine”. Kewei Zhang's Yang style "The Hong Yang Cave” impressed with his rich voice. In addition we enjoyed "Northern Melody”, researched and sung by Dr. Marnix Wells accompanied by Rafael Caro's er hu. The ancient tune of "The West Chamber” was most charming.
Our event also provided a platform for young artists to showcase their talent with full costume and make-up --- Lang Xiao performed a short excerpt from the Mei style Jing opera piece "The Anecdotes of the Lady Celestial” and Jun Yan performed a song from the Kun opera piece "The Peony Pavilion”. While they appeared a little nervous as inexperienced actors, their performances were natural and poised and received overwhelming applause.
Besides watching the performaces by the specialists, the audience also interacted with the performers. They were invited to try the Jing opera piece "Su San Qi Jie" and Kun opera piece "Mu Dan Ting" under the guidence of the opera experts, creating a great atmosphere for the gathering.
The UKCTC actively promotes traditional Chinese culture through organising performances by artists from China and providing Chinese and non-Chinese with an interest in Chinese culture with a platform for exchange. We will try to produce more and better traditional Chinese cultural events for the public in the future.