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Peking Opera company unveils spring season featuring new works and tributes to masters

By Chen Nan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-08 11:44

Peking Opera actress Li Shengsu in the Peking Opera production, Na Tu Gui Song.[Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The China National Peking Opera Company has announced its upcoming spring performing season, promising audiences new productions and contemporary interpretations of classic Peking Opera works.

In honor of the 130th anniversary of Peking Opera maestro Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), the company will showcase fresh renditions of the artist's timeless classics. Additionally, the season will feature a series of programs commemorating the 120th birthday of Peking Opera master Cheng Yanqiu and the 110th birthday of Peking Opera master Ye Shenglan.

President Wang Yong revealed that the company is set to stage a contemporary Peking Opera production, narrating the remarkable story of Gong Quanzhen (1923-2023), the wife of the late general Gan Zuchang and a devoted member of the Communist Party of China since 1952. Gong has dedicated herself to rural education and, even in retirement, continues to aid those in need while prioritizing the well-being and development of young people.

The company's new production, Na Tu Gui Song, which premiered last August, will launch a fresh series of performances. This collaborative creation by the China National Peking Opera Company and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism is an adaptation of a classic tale set during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). It chronicles the reign of Qian Chu, the final king of the Kingdom of Wuyue, a coastal realm established during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960) period. Despite the potential for conflict when encountering the Northern Song Dynasty's imperial power, Qian opted for peaceful allegiance, prioritizing the welfare of his people.

Wang also announced that the company will provide training programs led by seasoned artists for young performers. Esteemed figures such as Ye Shaolan, Liu Changyu, and Yuan Huiqin will collaborate with emerging artists, focusing on both contemporary and traditional Peking Opera productions.

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