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December 23, 2010

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Focus on classic characters in opera

LAVISH Peking Opera performances tonight and Saturday (Christmas) night will feature excerpts and examples of famous schools of the opera.

The performances at Shanghai Grand Theater will celebrate Peking Opera's inclusion last month in UNESCO's list of humanity's intangible cultural heritage.

Peking Opera has four major types of roles and original performing styles have arisen around each.

The characters are sheng (male), dan (young female), jing (painted face, male) and chou (clown, male or female). Famous examples of these types will be performed.

The performances gather artists from China's most prestigious troupes, including the China National Peking Opera Company, Beijing Peking Opera Theater, Tianjin Peking Opera House, Tianjin Youth Peking Opera House and the Shanghai Peking Opera House.

Wang Peiyu, a female artist of the Yu School, founded by Yu Shuyan, is one of the most prominent sheng (male) actors in Peking Opera, known for her deep and mellow voice.

She will present her noted portrayals of prominent men in Chinese history.

Chen Shaoyun, from the Lin School founded by Zhou Xinfang and famous for its vivid and intense singing and performance, will perform "Er Tang She Zi", an episode from "Lotus Lantern."

This episode is a story about two parents who let the elder son escape but surrender their younger son to the judge after the elder son beats a classmate to death.

The parents show sympathy for the motherless elder boy whose goddess born mother is imprisoned by her family for marrying the boy's father, a mortal human being.

The program will also include excerpts from "Dingjun Mountain," "Drunken Concubine," "The Orphan of Zhao" and "The Yang Female Warriors," all based on ancient tales; many performances have won awards.

Date: Today, December 25, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave.

Tel: 6386-8686


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