There’s a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to see one of China’s foremost opera companies in Liverpool later this month. Ten years after their last visit to the UK, the China National Peking Opera Company returns for a strictly limited tour, visiting The Auditorium at Liverpool Echo Arena for thecompany’s only dates outside London.
They say: “This is a rare opportunity to be immersed in the intriguing art of Peking opera and enjoy a cultural adventure in Chinese traditional artistic heritage from a world class company and their two highly celebrated stars, Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu. This is opera, but not as you know it, as the Peking Opera mixes breath-taking acrobatic choreography and ancient Chinese traditional performing arts to provide the most amazing spectacle.”
The company will be performing Farewell My Concubine and Warrior Women of Yang. A cast of 50 combine music, song, mime, intrinsically detailed costumes and exquisitely expressive make up, jaw-dropping stage combat and acrobatics. The rarely seen Warrior Women of Yang is a story of grief, courage, patriotism and family loyalty. Farewell My Concubine is a renowned classical piece, a beautiful and harrowing story of political unrest, love, sacrifice and honour.
The Peking Opera is a unique art form. To achieve the highest level of performing skill 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, expressive make-up and stunning stage craft, Peking Opera represents the essence of traditional Chinese values – whatever you would like to achieve, you must work hard through sweat and tears and resist from material temptation.
The artists from the China National Peking Opera Company are dedicated to keeping this ancient Chinese art form alive and sharing its beauty and stagecraft with the world.
Ming Ming Dong and Kevin Zhang, directors of Sinolink Productions, the company behind the tour, said: “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 masterpieces that the National Peking Opera Company are to bring to the UK.”
You can see Warrior Women of Yang on Friday, November 13 and Farewell My Concubine on Saturday, November 14. The productions are presented with English surtitles. For tickets and information, see the arena’s website.