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Japanese version of Peony Pavilion: When kabuki meets Kunqu

11-20-2009 09:02 BJT Special Report: 600 Years of Kunqu Opera |


Audiences in Shanghai are finding themselves enthralled with a Japanese opera star's performance in a classic Kunqu opera. A Japanese version of the age-old masterpiece - Peony Pavilion is being staged at 11th Shanghai International Arts Festival. Playing the lead is legendary Kabuki actor Tamasaburo.

This version of the timeless classic combines elements from Japanese Kabuki and Chinese Kunqu. Seven excerpts chosen from the original are featured, centering on the love and passion of a young Chinese couple.

Kunqu is considered the mother of all Chinese operas. It first came into being in the Kunshan region of Jiangsu Province over 6-hundred years ago. In 2001 UNESCO heralded it as "a masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity." Peony Pavilion is one of the classical works by Tang Xianzu, the most famous playwright in the Ming Dynasty. It is the most representative work among Chinese traditional operas.

Japanese version of Peony Pavilion: When kabuki meets Kunqu
Japanese version of Peony Pavilion

It's never easy for a Japanese artist to fully grasp the essence of the age-old Chinese art form of Kunqu. But Tamasaburo's proved he has what it takes to bring out the soul of the masterpiece. His polished performance received an enthusiastic response from the packed house.

The production will also be performed in Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

Editor:Liu Fang |Source:

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