Culture\Music and Theater

Reinventing Peking Opera

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

Reinventing Peking Opera

[Photo provided to China Daily]

Speaking about Li's work, Vivien Koo Huai-chun, the CEO of the Taipei-based C.F. Koo Foundation, which founded the Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theater, says: "His creations can sometimes be unconventional and you are not sure about his ideas until you see the performance."

The foundation, which was set up by her late diplomat father Koo Chen-fu, also known as C. F. Koo, in 1987, promotes cross-Straits exchanges and the development of Peking Opera in Taiwan.

Tracing her family's links with Peking Opera, Koo Huaichun says her late grandfather, Koo Hsien-jung, a businessman who moved to Taiwan from Fujian province about a century ago, was among the first to invite Peking Opera masters from the Chinese mainland to perform in Taiwan.

"The reason was simple. He was homesick and he wanted to listen to sounds from home," says Koo Huai-chun.

"Peking Opera was a sound that many people who moved to Taiwan were familiar with. In the 1930s, there were many Peking Opera troupes and theaters to show the art form in Taiwan."

About a decade ago, Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theater started touring the Chinese mainland and Li began to invite Peking Opera masters to perform in Taiwan and coach actors.

Speaking about his plans, Li says: "I like shopping. So, when I see luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, I think these brands can keep their classic look while introducing new products. We can do the same with Peking Opera."

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