Time: Friday, Jan. 28, 2000 at 7 PM
Place: Sanders Theatre at Harvard University
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2000 at 8 PM
Event: Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre
Don't miss this will-be sold out event by Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre! Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts in collaboration with World Music
present one of the best Beijing Opera groups, the Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre, for two shows at Harvard University's Sanders Theatre on Friday, January 28 (at 7 PM), and on Saturday, January 29 (at 8 PM), 2000.
Tickets are going fast! This will be a good Christmas-New Year gifts for friends and yourself!
Tickets ($30 each) can be purchased from Chinatown World Journal Book Store (617-482-2560), or by mail order from Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts (Address: 3 Partridge Lane, Lincoln, MA 01773 with money order or check, Tel: 781-259-8195, Fax: 781-259-9147, Email: Foundation@ChinesePerformingArts.net, website: http://www.ChinesePerformingArts.net ), or by calling World Music (617-876-4275).
Program (subject to change)
Borrowing the Fan
"Borrowing the Fan" is an extract from "The Journey to the West." The monk
Tang and his disciples, escorted by Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, are on their
way over the Himalayas to India to take back the Buddhist scriptures when
they are blocked by the Flaming Mountain, an impassable mountain range. The
Monkey King realizes that the only way through is to borrow the
indestructible magic fan from the Iron Fan Princess. The Princess, however,
angry with the Monkey King for having sent her son to be a disciple of the
Goddess of Mercy, refuses to lend him the fan. A fight between them breaks
out. Failing to snatch the magic fan, the Monkey King, master of a thousand
transformations, turns himself into a bird. When the Iron Fan Princess
drinks from a cup, the Monkey King leaps into the cup and is swallowed.
Tumbling inside her and causing terrible stomach pains, Sun Wukong forces the
Princess to relent and lend him the fan.
Zhong Kui Marries Off His Sister
Zhong Kui is known for his extraordinary scholarship and upright behavior.
But his impoverished family makes it difficult for him to attend the national
scholars' examination in the capital. With the financial support from his
friend, Du Ping, Zhong finally sets off. On the way he mistakenly enter a
ghosts' cave, where evil spirits turn him into an ugly man. In spite of the
excellent marks he receives on his examination, Zhong's ugly appearance
horrifies the Emperor and his newfound glory is taken away from him. Zhong
is so distressed that he commits suicide. But before he dies, Zhong
promises to betroth his sister to Du Ping. To fulfill his promise, he
returns home as a ghostly spirit and gives his sister away in marriage.
Jiao Zan, a senior office of the Song dynasty, is sent under escort to Sha
Men Island because he has killed a treacherous court official named Xie
Tingfang. The commander-in-chief Yang orders Ren Tanghui to secretly protect
Jiao Zan. When nightfall comes, they put up at the crossroads inn. During
the night, a fierce fight ensues in the darkness between the inn-keeper Liu
Lihua and Ren Tanghui. Only when the inn-keeper's wife arrives with a bright
candle do they finally realize that all has been the result of a
In the Garden from The Peony Pavilion
The masterpiece of Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), the foremost playwright of the
Ming Dynasty, " The Peony Pavilion" is one of China's greatest dramas and a
favorite on the Kunju stage. In this scene, Du Liniang, a talented young
lady born of a prominent and strict family, has come of age and started to
yearn for love. One spring day, after taking a stroll in her family garden
with her maid, Fragrance, she falls asleep and dreams that she has met a
young man called Liu Mengmei and made love to him in the garden. When she
wakes and does not find Liu, she becomes very depressed, falls ill and
eventually dies of a broken heart. Later, Liu Mengmei, led by destiny, come
upon Du Liniang's grave and, through the power of his love, brings her back
Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre
The style of the Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre took shape more than 400 years
ago, and as the only Kun Opera to the north of the Yangtze River, is
characteristic of the culture and customs of Northern China. Of the six
Theaters in China, Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre was the first to be
established supported by Premier Zhou Enlai on June 22, 1957. The first
president of the Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre was Chines Kun Opera master Han
Shichang. In the past 42 years, Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre has recruited
and trained three generations of nationally famous artists. The theatre now
has a repertoire more than 80 traditional operas performed in its own style,
including a dozen national award-winning productions such as "The Peony
Pavilion," "Romance of the West Chamber" and "Romance of the Pipa." In
additions, more than a hundred other classics are included in the repertoire.
Some 50 performers of the theatre have won performance awards including the
Plum Blossom Award and the Wenhua Award.
Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre stages performances throughout the year in Beijing. Its audiences often include foreign tourists and celebrities.
Among them are former Japanese Premier Ryutaro Hashimoto, the wife of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and the first lady of Finland. In recent years, Beijing Kunju Opera Theatre has toured to Germany, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Japan, Italy, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
Wang Zhenyi began his performance career 20 years ago. He won the Excellent
Performance Award in the Fengyi Cup Competition in 1993, the Best Performance
Award in the National Joint Performances of Kun Opera in 1994, and the Wenhua
Award given by the Ministry of Culture in 1995. He received the prestigious
Plum Blossom Award in 1998 as the best performer of the year.
Gu Feng specializes in playing martial arts roles. A graduate of the China
Institute of Traditional Operas, he was trained with several Kun Opera
masters. Well-known for his portrayal of San Wukong, the Monkey King, Mr. Gu
has won numerous national awards. He toured Japan in 1996 and 1997 where he
won the name, "Whirlwind Gu."
Dong Honggang also performs martial arts roles in the Beijing Kunju Opera
Theature. Adept at singing as well as performing the fighting parts in
Chinese opera, he also can play painted-face roles such as Zhong Kui. He has
won an Excellent Performance Award in Shanxi Province and a Performance Award
given by the Beijing Dramatist Association.
Wei Chunrong is a leading actress acclaimed for her singing and dancing. A
second generation student of Kun Opera master Han Shichang, she has played
leading roles in more than 20 classical Kun Opera. Since 1988, she has been
awarded many prizes for her performances, in Beijing and on a national level.
Ms. Wei has toured Russia, Sweden, Hong Kong, and Taiwan where her
performances have been warmly received.