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China National Peking Opera Company returns to London with classical Chinese Operas

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

10-11-2016 15:15 BJT

LONDON, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- The China National Peking Opera Company has returned to London for the second visit in two consecutive years, with two classical operas: The General and the Prime Minister and The Legend of White Snake.

During a press conference held Monday in London, the local organizer of the performances, Sinolink Production's Director Kevin Zhang introduced the content of the two operas.

The General and the Prime Minister is a great piece of stage play and is based on true historical accounts of what happened in the Warring States period of ancient China.

The play is filled with drama and entertainment: determination against hesitation, lust for power and struggle for survival, and selfish envy vs self-restraint. Some phrases from this story, such as "Returning the Jade Disc intact to Zhao", and "Pleading guilty with a shamble on the back" have become widely known idioms in China till today.

The Legend of White Snake is a famous Chinese folklore, and Lady White is a house known name in China. In the long history of suppression and obedience that people had in generation, Lady White is a symbol of rebellion, bravery and quest for true love.

Zhang said in comparison to last year's performances, Farewell My Concubine and Warrior Women of Yang, the operas of this year will be more complicated and put more focus on Chinese traditional culture and value.

"We intended to let the Western audience learn more intensively about Chinese culture with these two operas, to convey the idea that Chinese opera is not merely martial arts or dancing, but performances with traditional Chinese values," he said.

The performers from the China National Peking Opera Company will showcase the cultural heritage of China with traditional makeup, movement and songs, performed on a moving three-dimensional set.

The 65-person cast will be headlined by two of China's most sought after opera stars Li Shengsu and Yu Kuizhi who have performed in Peking operas around the world.

The China National Peking Opera Company is one of the national ensembles of performance arts directly under the supervision of the China's Culture Ministry. Since its founding, the treater has brought together a large number of outstanding performing artists and playwrights, directors, composers, stage artists, who enjoy a high reputation both at home and abroad.

Over 50 years, the theatre has inherited, composed, and staged more than 500 traditional historical dramas of excellence, new historical dramas and modern Peking operas with different themes and genres. It constantly sends art troupes performing around the world, which have visited 50 countries and regions, five continents, winning a good international reputation.

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