An opera highlight, as its name indicates, is a part or a section of an opera, often a highlighted section or part. It aims to presents the audience with the most wonderful performance in a short time. The opera highlights performed by Chongqing Peking Opera Troupe this time are extracted from 4 classical Peking operas, and have won substantial acclaim.
The first opera highlight is extracted from the opera performed by martial roles in shorts named the Divergence. It is well-known for its four major elements, including the virtual representation, martial figures, comedy sensibility and sound of gong and drum. Among the rhythmic sound of gong and drum, Ren Tanghui and Liu Lihua right in the darkness with their own skills. Ren Tang, a man full of uprightness, gestures in an uncommon way. The crown Liu Lihua is rather nimble and robust, and he performs several somersaults with jump kick. Their solid basic skills and fascinating acting win sustained standing ovation.
The second opera highlight is extracted from the Lucky Purse, which is predominated by singing. It tells a story of Xue Xiangling, who gives a purse to Zhao Shouzhen, a penniless woman. The leading actress is a 16-year-old girl in black cloth of the School of Cheng Yanqiu. She has a mild and tactful voice and graceful postures. The female role playing the part of Mei Xiang started to learn Peking opera when she was only 9. This is why she presents vivid performance, with full emotions. Chongqing Peking Opera Troupe created a new version of the Lucky Purse. With the overall style of traditional Peking operas remaining unchanged, the Troupe added some modern languages. The humorous lines added become a highlight of the performance.
The following opera highlight performed is extracted from a well-known opera titled Righteousness above Family Loyalty. It tells a story of Bao Zheng encouraging and apologizing to Bao Mian’s mother after he sentences Bao Mian to death. The entire performance has complicated and variable types of metre for music and onerous vocals. The two performers playing the part of the young female character and the old female character have solid acting skills, and they cooperate with each other during the touching performance in a harmonious way.
The final opera highlight performed is extracted from a dance-oriented opera integrating Chinese martial arts named Presenting Pearl on the Rainbow Bridge. The breathtaking fighting scenes and splendid props are among the attractions of the opera. The performers have been practiced for a long time and are able to cooperate with each other in a perfect way and therefore the performance is a very successful one. The female character good at Kong Fu puts on a fantastic performance that includes throwing, pulling, picking, fast moving, kicking and hitting from different directions, all finished without any errors. The difficulty and complicatedness of the performance leave the audience gasping in admiration.
As for this performance, the performers of Chongqing Peking Opera Troupe have shared their own feelings. Lin Ziqi, a young actress, states that: “The opera into campuses activity allows the students to appreciate the traditional and graceful art of opera. With this platform, college students would have the opportunity to fall in love with operas”. She also expresses her hope that the performance would stimulate the students’ interest in Peking operas, and inspire more persons to be engaged in the Peking opera sector. Ms. He Manqing performing the old female character in Peking operas placed very strict requirements on performance. She points out that this is an era of “renaissance”. The national culture is being recovered and more and more college students start to understand Peking operas. This activity plays a positive role in inheriting traditional culture.
Chen Yuli, a senior of Liberal Arts College of Chongqing University, commends that: “The opera named Presenting Pearl on the Rainbow Bridge requires outstanding acrobatic fighting skills and the opera named Righteousness above Family Loyalty requires outstanding dramatic speaking skills.” At the same time, Chen shows his great confidence in the future of traditional Chinese opera, and adds that: “We do not need to worry whether the traditional Chinese operas will disappear in the future because someone will be able to appreciate good arts.”
The performance arouses great interest of foreign teachers from UC Joint School. A foreign teacher named Alex says that he is deeply expressed by the skills and memory of performers and that the Peking operas integrate the long history and profound and extensive culture of China and appeal very much to him.