PEKING OPERA FESTIVAL

Watching an authentic Peking Opera outside China is a seldom opportunity. It is an art that most people know by name, but have never seen before. Peking Opera is more than just music and singing; it also combines drama, dancing, martial arts and acrobatics, which makes it one of the most multifaceted theatrical forms in the world. In 2010 Peking Opera was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO.

The Peking Opera Festival offers a fine selection of original plays accompanied by an introduction to some of the key facts about Peking Opera. Basic background knowledge about the meaning of typical gestures, the abundant make-up and elaborate costumes help the audience understand the fundamentals of this mysterious genre.

After four celebrated festival editions in several European countries and Brazil, in 2014 Beijing’s most renowned Peking Opera ensemble will perform for the first time in Russia and the United States. Local audiences may look forward to experiencing some of the most distinguised Peking Opera stars on stage. Information about dates and ticket sales will be announced soon!

 

THE 120th ANNIVERSARY OF MEI LANFANG

In 2014, the 120th anniversary of the most outstanding Peking Opera performer of all times, Mei Lanfang, will be celebrated. He was the first actor ever to present Peking Opera abroad. Mei Lanfang's son Mei Baojiu, together with other outstanding stars of the Jingju Theater Company of Beijing, Mei Lanfang Jingju Troupe will present the Peking Opera Productions:"Classic Plays of the Mei School" and "Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command" in the United Stated of America. 

 

Mei Lanfang

Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) was a world-famous master of Peking Opera in China. He was a legend for his outstanding artistic achievements as well as his contribution as a cultural ambassador of China and Chinese art. He was born into a family of Peking Opera and Kunqu performers, and became the best-known among the "Four Most Famous Dan Performers" (female role type). Because of improvements and innovations that he brought to his art, What became known as the "Mei School" describes his unique oriental opera performance system, which together with the Russian Stanislavski System and the German Brecht System form the "Three Performing Systems of the World".

Mei Lanfang led Peking Opera abroad several times, not only promote the understanding of Chinese culture and art for the people all over the world, but also brought Peking Opera among the world's opera forest. He made his performances in Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union before 1949. His performance won reat applause. University of Southern California and Pomona Collage both conferred on him honoray doctorates of literature. Japanese scholars compiled all the newspaper reviews of his performances into a volume titled Pin Mei Ji (the Mei Review Record). His American production of Hongni Guan was made into a silent movie by a Japanese film company. Later, this production was made into a movie with sound by the famous russian director Sergei Eisenstein. The American media were lavish in their praise, stating that "Mei Lanfang's art unquestionably surpasses all obstacles existing between East and West."In addiion, Mei Lanfang's first performance in Europe took place in a music hall on Moscow's Gorky Street. Among the audience were such luminaries as Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy, all of whom were unstinting in their praise of Mei Lanfang's performing art.

Master Mei devoted himself to Chinese Opera for his lifetime and his contributions in Peking Opera's development and innovation are the huge treasure which is worthy of admiration. Let alone the stage performance, Mei Lanfang was involved in teaching as well.

 

Mei Baojiu

Mei Baojiu, son of Mei Lanfang and the master of the second generation of the Mei School descendants, is a famous contemporary Jingju performer and a world-class artist. He is the leader of the Mei Lanfang Jingju troupe in Jingju Theater Company of Beijing, a member of the national committee of CPPCC, the president of the Art Foundation of Mei Lanfang, the graduate student supervisor of National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and the national intangible cultural heritage project (Jingju) representative inheritor. Mei Lanfang not only inherited and developed Mei School, but also trained artists for it. He had 37 students all over the world, who have become the major force in the area of Jingju.

In 2005, he received the 5th China Gold Record Award.
In October 2006, he received a Lifetime Art Achievement Award from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
In 2009, he was granted an Art Masters Award and Lifetime Achievement Award by the World Artists Association.
In  May 2010, he received Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award.
In December 2010, he was granted Performing and Plastic Arts Award by China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.
In March 2012, he received his PhD from J.F. Oberlin University in Japan.
In  April 2012, he was given the title of "Messenger of Peace" by United Nations World Peace Prayer Conference.

TOUR & TICKETS

If you wish to be informed about upcoming shows, please subscribe to our newsletter.

The Moscow State Opera and Ballet Theatre for Young Audience named after Natalia Sats
2014-10-10 (19:30 – 22:30)
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command
2014-10-11 (19:30 – 22:30)
The Legend of White Snake
For tickets: http://teatr-sats.ru
For more information: http://www.pekingopera.eu

Mariinsky Theatre
2014-10-14 (19:30 – 22:30)
The Legend of White Snake
2014-10-15 (19:30 – 22:30)
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command
For tickets: http://www.mariinsky.ru/
For more information: http://www.pekingopera.eu

Lincoln Center for the performing arts David H. Koch Theater
2014-8-20 (19:30-22:00)
Classic Plays of the Mei School
2014-8-23 (19:30-22:00)
Classic Plays of the Mei School
2014-8-24 (14:00-16:30)
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command
For tickets: http://davidhkochtheater.com/moreinfoPO.html
For more information: http://www.pekingopera.eu

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing arts Opera House
2014-8-27 (19:30-22:00)
Classic Plays of the Mei School
2014-8-28 (19:30-22:00)
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command
For tickets: http://www.kennedy-center.org/index.cfm?gclid=CIDVmrv1h8ECFYhefgodKYEAYQ
For more information: http://www.pekingopera.eu

PRODUCTIONS

The Legend of White Snake

This piece is a Chinese legend, which has been used as a popular subject in several Chinese operas, films and television series. The story tells of a young scholar Xu Xian who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is actually a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human form. A monk named Fahai, envious of their love, devises many wicked plans in order to separate the couple. After many trials and tribulations, the white snake and Xu Xian are reunited.

The Legend of White Snake

Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command

When Western Xia invades Northern Song, retired old general She Taijun sends her great grandchildren, Yang Wenguang and Yang Jinhua to the capital city for information. Wenguang defeats Wang Lun, son of the treacherous official Wang Qiang, in a martial arts competition held to select the marshal who will lead the army against Western Xia forces. Mu Guiying, Yang Wenguang’s mother, has long held a grudge against the emperor. Persuaded by She Taijun and others, the patriotic general Mu Guiying agrees to lead the army in battling invaders.

Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command

ABOUT PEKING OPERA

Peking Opera consists of various artistic features like singing, music, dance, drama and acrobatics - a combination that makes the performance a unique stage experience. Beautiful costumes, elaborate makeup, enchanting voices and lively combat scenes fascinate the spectator. But in order to understand what the art of Peking Opera really is about, the audience needs some background knowledge. In our section ABOUT PEKING OPERA we will introduce the history of Peking Opera, outline the key facts about the performances and explain the basics about the four main roles types and the stage performers. Read more...

PAST TOURS

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival Brazil 2013

Cidade das Artes (Rio de Janeiro), SESC Quitadinha (Petropolis), SESC Pinheiros (Sao Paulo). Read more...

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival Brazil 2013

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival Europe 2013

Lucent Danstheater of The Hague, Brucknerhaus Linz, Teatro Piccolo di Milano. Read more...

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival 2013

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival 2012

Reithalle Munich, Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania, Teatro Rendano di Cosenza. Read more...

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing: Peking Opera Festival 2012

National Center for the Performing Arts: Red Cliff 2012

Burgtheater Vienna, National Theater Prague, State Opera Budapest. Read more...

National Center for the Performing Arts: Red Cliff 2012