Title of the Event: Chinese Opera
Presenter: Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club
Time: Saturday, August 3, 2013, at 2 PM
Place: Meydenbauer Center
11100 NE 6th Street
Bellevue, WA 98004
For information and questions, please contact:
Shuang-Chiu Wang firstname.lastname@example.org, (206) 484-8655
Alice Ohlfs email@example.com, (425) 260-0330
Rose Jang firstname.lastname@example.org, (253) 874-9878
Chinese Opera, presented by Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club in Seattle, will showcase four popular excerpts from the rich repertory of Beijing Opera, the best known and most prominent example of traditional Chinese performing arts in the West, on August 3, 2013, at 2 pm, at the Meydenbauer Center, Bellevue. Drawing upon legends, folk stories and historical events, Beijing opera is exquisitely stylized, with elaborate costumes, fantastic makeup and a complex system of esthetic conventions governing every aspect of the performance. Devoid of realism in stage setup, characters are defined by role types who tell stories and express emotions through gestures and movements which are nothing short of choreographed dance. Singing and musicalized speeches are primary elements of the performance, which are supported by a small orchestra of eight to ten musicians underscoring the emotions of individual characters while controlling the overall tempo and atmosphere of the theatrical world.
In this production, four different pieces will provide a spectrum of Chinese theatrical aesthetics and disclose some unique Chinese cultural elements and values in the lineup. Both the stories of “Woman in a Fallen City” and “Romance at a Feast” touch on the popular topic of gender politics in Chinese folklore and official history: how women and their sexual power are employed as political weapons. While “The Haunted Bowl” toys with Chinese sense of social justice, in a nevertheless serious manner, achieved only through ghostly presences and supernatural interventions, “On the Hillside” depicts a brutally honest and realistic picture of traditional Chinese marriage system which weighs heavily on female chastity as the only sustainable value.
Although grown out of clamorous traditional teahouses, Chinese Opera is now comfortably presented on the Westernized stage with sophisticated sound control and theatrical lighting. The auditorium of Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue will easily transport you to the ancient world of Chinese culture, with subtitles of English translations of the dialogues and sung lyrics projected next to the stage to facilitate understanding and appreciation.
Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club, combining local talents and professional artists, has been practicing and performing Chinese Opera in Seattle area for more than forty years. Ticket prices are $25 and $15 for general public, with a $5 discount for seniors and students.