Peking Opera: Success and failure on account of Xiao He

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Presenter: Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe
Cast: Chen Shaoyun, Fan Yongliang, An Ping, Dong Hongsong, Gao Mingbo, Guo Ruiyue, He Shu, Fu Xiru
Venue: Theatre
Dates: January 09 - 10, 2009 19:30
Price: VIP/380/280/180/120/80 RMB

Programme Introduction

"Owe both success and failure to Xiao He." This time-honored Chinese saying implies numerous changes of life, ups and downs, honors and disgraces, separation and reunion. Over eighty years ago, Xiao He Chases after Han Xin at a Moonlit Night starred by Master Zhou Xinfang, an outstanding Peking opera artist, appeared as a classic play of the school of Qi. At the end of 2008, a new historical Peking opera Success and Failure on account of Xiao He won the first place of gold medal and Mr. Chen Shaoyun, the leading role in the play, won special honorary award for performance during the Fifth China Peking Opera Art Festival held in Jinan, Shandong Province.

Success and Failure on account of Xiao He continues the story of Xiao He Chases after Han Xin at a Moonlit Night. It takes the stories among Emperor Liu Bang, Empress Lv Zhi, Xiao He and Han Xin as its background, shows the progressing current of "stopping wars for rehabilitation and pursuing for stability and unity" in the early Han Dynasty, and focuses on the "failure on account of Xiao He". This Peking opera tries to show the changing inner minds of different roles, Xiao He's loyalty to the emperor and his profound feelings to Han Xin, Liu Bang's canniness and wisdom as a politician, Empress Lv Zhi's ruthlessness and Han Xin's candor and sincerity. It can be regarded as a wonderful tragedy of heroes and touch spectators to heart with its complicated plots and distinct personalities. In addition, the intermezzo by traditional instruments such as guqin and xun and the basic visual image of hanque add to the bleak artistic atmosphere of the play.

Mr. Chen Shaoyun and Mr. An Ping, famous actors of Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe, play the two leading roles in this play. As the successor of the school of Qi, Mr. Chen Shaoyun follows the unique skill of Master Zhou Xinfang in playing Xiao He, and pays more attention to the accurate expression of the role's inner world, i.e., Xiao He's pain and helplessness toward the conflict of sense and sensibility as well as his wisdom and loyalty. People are touched deeply by the vigorous and simple singing voice of Qi School in the play. Moreover, the most spectacular role is no other than Han Xin, which is usually acted by a Xiao Sheng (usually a young scholar or lover role), a Wu Sheng (usually a fighting or military character) or a Lao Sheng (usually an old man). However, Mr. An Ping, a Hua Lian (painted-face character), acts as the role of Han Xin in this play. His performance is wonderful, and both of his singing voice and fighting skills are adored by the audience. The different emotions towards Xiao He and Liu Bang performed by him are just perfect, and the role' tragic and manly disposition is portrayed vividly.

Since its first performance in 2004, this play has won several national awards. It attains perfection by amending plots and changing stage and aria design. The show at National Centre for the Performing Arts will surely attract large numbers of Chinese and foreign spectators in Beijing.

Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe

As one of the major Peking Opera troupes proclaimed by the Ministry of Culture, Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe(SPOT) was established in 1955 as a result of the merger between Peking Opera Troupe of Eastern China Experimental Theater and Shanghai People's Peking Opera Troupe. Its first director was Master Zhou Xinfang, an outstanding Peking opera artist.

SPOT has her own cultural ambience of Shanghai, unique art style and a glorious history. Some of the initiators of the schools of Peking opera and Kunqu opera such as Masters Zhou Xinfang, Gai Jiaotian and Yu Zhenfei and other outstanding Peking opera artists including Yan Huizhu and Li Yuru laid the solid foundation for SPOT's art development. Other new plays of historical Peking opera, such as Cao Cao and Yang Xiu, Great Events in the Early Tang Dynasty and Yu Chenglong, an Honest and Upright Official, are also famous and popular.


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