China National Peking Opera Returns to the UK

Peking Opera

10 years after their last visit to the UK in 2005, the magnificent China National Peking Opera Company returns to the UK this winter, coming to both the Liverpool Echo Arena Auditorium (13 – 15 November) and London’s Sadler’s Wells (19 – 22 November).

China National Peking Opera Company will be performing two masterpieces for UK audiences: Warrior Women of Yang and the full-length European premiere of Farewell My Concubine. This is a rare opportunity to catch the fine art of Peking Opera on the UK stage from one of China’s most pre-eminent performing companies with two of its legendary stars Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu.

This is an opportunity to be immersed in the intriguing art of Peking Opera and take a cultural adventure into Chinese traditional artistic heritage from this world-class company. The magnificent costumes and the artful combination of dance, mime, music, and theatre provide a source of wonder for audiences of all ages; all part of China National Peking Opera Company’s charm.

The rarely seen spectacular Warrior Women of Yang is a story of grief, courage, patriotism and family loyalty. A cast of over fifty will mesmerize you with music, song, mime, exquisite costumes and painted faces whilst they amaze you with stage combat and acrobatics.

Farewell My Concubine is a renowned classical piece, a beautiful and harrowing story of political unrest, love, sacrifice and honour. It’s hard not to be entranced by this immense love story and the consequences of lost battles and pride.

Peking Opera 2

The Peking Opera is a unique art form. To achieve the highest level of performing skills often requires a lifelong dedication to practising the art. Most of the artists have to train from a very tender age at opera school before being an apprentice and learning from the masters. Despite the spectacular costumes, face painting make-up and stunning stage craft, Peking Opera represents the essence of tradition Chinese value – whatever you would like to achieve, you must work hard through sweat and tears and resist from material temptation. If there is a common identity shared by the Chinese all over the world, it is the Peking Opera. If there is a common tune to draw tears from the Chinese all over the world, it is the Peking Opera.

In the climate of a largely westernised China, there are still artists who are passionate about the traditional form of Chinese artistic heritage and devote their lives to preserving the century old form of art. The artists from National Peking Opera Company continue to pursuit their dream of keeping this ancient Chinese art form alive and sharing its beauty and stagecraft with the world.

Yu Kuizhi’s repertoire includes Female Generals of Yang Family, Loss of Shijieting· The Empty City· Killing Ma JiWu Zixuthe Fourth Son Visits His MotherGolden BrickWild Boar ForestReconciliation between the General and the Prime Minsiter, Blood River, and newly arranged plays like Yuan ChonghuanMei LanfangZou Xi KouRed CliffBosom Friend, The Silk Road and The Great Wall.

Li Shengsu’s repertoire includes The Drunken BeautyMu Guiying Takes CommandLegend of the White SnakeXie Yaohuan and Willow Shadow and Legend of Lady Yang, etc.

“With respect and honour, we are taking the opportunity of 2015 UK and China Cultural Exchange Year to present this fine, traditional art form of Peking Opera to the world to demonstrate that China is not just about what they can manufacture, but also about what they can perform. We sincerely hope the British audience will appreciate and be inspired by the master pieces that the National Peking Opera Company are to bring to the UK.” Ming Ming Dong and Kevin Zhang, Directors, Sinolink Productions

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