Peking Opera appreciated in DC

Updated: 2016-04-30 01:05

By HUA SHENGDUN in Washington(China Daily USA)

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Peking Opera appreciated in DC

Organizers of the gala get together after the performance, from left: Cynthia Yung, media offi cer; Sarah Xie, treasurer; Yan Ru, operations offi cer; Xueling Qin, art director; Louisa Huang, president; and Mei Wang, production manager. PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

The show also introduced tales of star-crossed lovers, such as The Legend of Lady Yang Yuhuan, a love story between Emperor Li Longji and his favorite concubine Yang Yuhuan.

This is a typical work of Mei Lang Fang's performing style of Peking Opera. She is one of the most famous opera artists in China. Mei Wang, who played Lady Yang on the stage, is also a founding member of the DCBBO.

"The best part is that this high art shares stories about human emotions that we come to learn are universal, and in this case exceptionally dressed. It makes the world more connected and beautiful," said Java Kitrick, president of the Puffin Foundation West, a partner of DCBBO.

DCBBO has reached 2,000 Chinese and non-Chinese audiences across the US over the past three years, spreading knowledge of the performing art as well as Chinese culture.

"Pursuit of beautiful things is human nature, regardless of where you are from," said Louisa Huang, president of DCBBO. "Beijing Opera is all about beauty – in performers' movement, singing and acting on stage."

Specifically, she said, the DCBBO has "knowledge in both Western and Oriental cultures, who were trained intensively to perform on stage and who have no language barrier in cultural exchange. Thus we'd feel guilty if we don't do something to expose our neighbors to this beautiful art."

This unique window to ancient China is a beauty to behold. The cultural significance of the art alone makes it worth an introduction to Westerners, and DCBBO is making a step in the right direction.

"What DC opera has been able to do is spin a golden thread back through time that was essentially lost and lasso it not only for us to see in our time but in a different place," said Kitrick. "It's us, fighting extinction in a wonderful way."

Allan Fong in Washington contributed to the story


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