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Culture news
A tour by the Beijing Opera
10.08.2014 13:13

A tour by the Beijing Opera

On 14 and 15 October the Mariinsky Theatre will be hosting the first ever St Petersburg tour by the Beijing Opera with two productions – The Legend of the White Snake and Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command.
The performances mark one hundred and twenty years since the birth of Mei Lanfang – a performer who even during his own lifetime became a legend thanks to his performance of “dan” roles (female parts). His performing style led to the emergence of a theatre art school – the Mei School, an oriental system of theatre art which, alongside the Russian Stanislavsky system and the German Brecht system, forms the triad of great theatre schools. Following performances by the Beijing Opera Company under Mei Lanfang in the 1920s and 30s in Japan and the USA, Beijing opera began to be performed throughout the world, while in 2010 Beijing opera as a style of Chinese art was listed in UNESCO’s cultural legacy register.
The history of Beijing opera began in 1790, when four theatre companies from the province of Anhui came to Beijing and performed to commemorate the Emperor’s eightieth birthday. Beijing opera was for both the Imperial Court and the common man. Initially Beijing opera was only performed by men, though women were allowed to appear on the stage from 1870. From 1860 the Beijing Opera Company performed throughout China, and by the close of the 19th century it had become the country’s most popular art form.
Mariinsky Media will be broadcasting the Beijing Opera Company’s performances live. The broadcasts are available on the websites www.mariinsky.tv and www.mariinsky.fm

News source: The State Academic Mariinsky Theatre
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