Some people love it, some people …. don’t. Three of China’s top contemporary Peking Opera stars (see profiles below) will appear in Qingdao on February 5 at the Qingdao Concert Hall. Expect a night of colorful costumes and traditional music described by Derek P. Walter as “the Chinese blues”.

When: February 5, 2010, 7.30 pm
Venue: Qingdao Concert Hall, 1 Lanshan Lu (near Zhan Qiao)
Venue Name and Address: 青岛音乐厅, 蓝山路1号
Info: 8379.9796

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Profiles of Peking Opera performers for 2.05 at Qingdao Concert Hall

(courtesy of Arteffect magazine and Kadenza Art and Media)

Shang Changrong (尚长荣)
The first Plum Blossom winner for Chinese Drama and recognized as a part of the State-level Intangible Cultural Heritage, Shang was exposed to art as a child by his family, first taking the stage when he was five years old. He consequently built a solid foundation in his discipline from his unremitting personal efforts and the strict supervision of his teachers and father. His performances are both sung and spoken, and are reputed for his excellent voice control and passionate acting. Shang is not just repeating traditional Peking Opera methods, he is also able to organically integrate the modern cultural psyche into his performances, while maintaining strict adherence to formula and standarized techniques. He is the star of such historical operas as Cao Cao & Yang Xiu, Zhen Guan Sheng Shi, Lian Li Yu Cheng Long, known as the “Trilogy of Shang Changrong”. Shang received Gold Medals at the first, third and fourth Chinese Peking Opera Festivals and is renowned as a master of his craft with a deep understanding of Peking Opera fundamentals and its inherent culture.

Du Peng (杜鹏)
A Peking Opera artist with an excellent full-bodied voice and great command of rhythm, Du originally hails from Shandong. His graceful movements on stage are excellent complements to his classic vocal style. His virtuosity gives him the range to perform in operas like Zhan Tai Ping and many other traditional dramas. Du is a student of the Yu and Yang styles of Peking Opera, which are best suited to his voice and personality. The CCTV program Ming Duan Xin Shang has produced six albums for Du as well as a feature documentary film about his performance experience. He is currently a professor and director at the Chinese Opera College, a member of Chinese Dramatists Association and the China Friendship Association for the Sixth Committee on the Council of Painting and Calligraphy. Besides his professional interest in Peking Opera, Du is also a skilled painter, and his peony and lotus paintings have been both well received by fans and respected by scholars for their seasoned approach to this traditional Chinese art form.

Wang Rongrong (王蓉蓉)
“A Peking Opera performer is much different than a popular entertainment star who can enjoy a level of comfort after attaining fame. Because no matter how famous they are, Peking Opera stars cannot stop practicing as long as they can sing.” These words from Wang Rongrong reflect her meticulous approach to her craft, and her sense of treading on thin ice at each performance. What she cares about most is the reaction of the audience, and the pay that she receives is only worth as much as the audience appreciation of her performance. Wang, not born of famous Peking Opera stars nor from a prominent family, has with her efforts and perseverance succeeded in her chosen field, gaining admittance to her favorite university and studying under the Peking Opera masters Zhang Junqiu and Zhen Chuan. She was a First National Chinese Peking Opera postgraduate student, Country-Level Actress, and has won numerous awards. Her enthusiasm and dedication to Peking Opera reinforces the belief that it will always be a cultural form with a future, our heritage to develop. Imagine that young and old will sit together appreciating the quintessence of Chinese culture a few hundred years later, and at that time, expect that they will also have fond memories of the sweet voice and delicate performance of this master of Qing Yi from the Beijing Peking Opera Theater.

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Relevant Links:
Event on Douban

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