Kunqu Opera classic "Peach Blossom Fan" gets cantata version

2009-12-02 10:12 BJT

The Chinese Kunqu Opera "Peach Blossom Fan" is a love story between the revival society poet Hou Fangyu and the beautiful river courtesan Li Xiangjun. It is regarded as the most influential and popular Kunqu piece not only for the romance, but as a historical epic reflecting the brief splendor and the fall of Ming Dynasty.

 Audiences have seen seven interpretations of the opera classic including the traditional and modern styles, as well as a concert version and a refined edition. And now we see an eighth attempt that is, an a cappella oratorio of the "Peach Blossom Fan".

Peking Opera's painted face, Kunqu outfits and modern costumes are appearing on the same stage. Here, the boundaries of time and space exist no more. But it's the singing aspects of the new interpretation that truly breaks the limits.

Debuted at the National Center for the Performing Arts, it is the first experiment of blending traditional Chinese Kunqu Opera and the western a cappella. Harmony and polyphony are performed in mixed chorus, and solo and chorus, narrating the well known story delicately and yet producing kinetic aesthetics.