UAA Confucius Institute Brings Peking Opera to Alaska

The UAA Confucius Institute sponsored a performance of Beijing Opera by a troupe from the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing on Tuesday November 3, 2009 at the Wendy Williamson Auditorium.

The appearance of the troupe in Anchorage, the first time Beijing Opera has been performed here, was the final leg of a national tour co-sponsored by five US Confucius institutes including the University of South Carolina, George Mason University, Eastern Michigan University, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Minnesota as well as UAA.

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The audience of over 800 was the largest on the tour and had a wonderful time. They enjoyed a two hour presentation starting with a lesson in Chinese Opera appreciation, discussion of musical instruments and performance techniques, and highlights from six famous Chinese Operas; Autumn River, The Reed Jungle, Picking up the Jade Bracelet, Sitting in the Palace, the Peony Pavilion, and Crossroads Inn.

Chinese Opera is much more than music and song. Bright and colorful costumes such as those seen in the Peony Pavilion and Sitting in the Palace, and brilliant make up, as seen in Autumn River, are also an integral part of the performance. So are dance, highlighted in The Reed Jungle, and martial arts seen especially in Crossroads Inn. 

Along with the performances and lectures members of the audience were asked to come on stage to try their hand at singing and movement.

 

 

Peking Opera