Culture\Music and Theater

Reinventing Peking Opera

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-10 07:57

Reinventing Peking Opera

From right: Li with Vivien Koo Huai-chun, CEO of the Taipei-based C.F. Koo Foundation, and Guo Wenpeng, CEO of Poly Theater Management Co Ltd, at a promotional event in Beijing. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Actors from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, including Tianjin Peking Opera Theater and Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater, will perform together in the shows.

Since its birth, Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theater has produced 44 original Peking Opera works, which have been staged nearly 200 times.

All these works are "new old plays", a brainchild of Li, in which "new" refers to new elements and techniques and "old" means the tradition.

Among the creations are Yun Luo Mountain, a revised version of a classic Peking Opera work, which Li's father performed, and The Jester, a Peking Opera version of Giuseppe Verdi's classical opera, Rigoletto.

For Li, absorbing new things keeps the Chinese opera fresh.

Every year, Li travels around the world to watch various shows-from contemporary dance and Broadway performances to rock concerts.

For example, in The Palace of Eternal Life, which premiered in Taipei in June 2016, Li mixed the Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera singing styles.

"Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera have many ways to interpret a role, especially complicated emotions.

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