Shanghai Theater Academy’s College of Chinese Opera is paying tribute to Peking and Kunqu Opera artist Yu Zhenfei (1902-93) with a concert next month.
The performance will gather the best of both Peking and Kunqu operas to present classic excerpts from “The Peony Pavilion,” “The Palace of Eternal Youth,” “The Drunken Concubine” and “The Orphan of Zhao” as a homage to Yu who was the college’s first president 60 years ago.
Yu Zhenfei (right) on stage. (Photos: Ti Gong)
A new Peking Opera excerpt “Pei Shaojun and Li Qianjun,” which is adapted from Yu’s Kunqu Opera production, wil be staged.
Performers include Peking Opera artist Shang Changrong, Kunqu Opera artist Cai Zhengren and Yu’s student Ye Shaolan.
Shang said Yu’s efforts in the preservation and innovation of traditional Chinese operas had a large influence on the development of traditional theater.
“I was so lucky to collaborate with him on the Peking Opera except ‘Gathering of Heroes’,” Shang said.
In the eyes of famous Kunqu Opera artist Yue Meiti, who was also Yu’s student, the master is more than a mentor for them.
Peking Opera artist Li Peihong, who is currently the president of Shanghai Theater Academy’s College of Chinese Opera, said they would preserve Yu’s concepts of education to foster more young theater performers. She, and the students of the school, will present a well-known Peking Opera play “The Unicorn Purse” on May 19.
“The Unicorn Purse”
Date: May 19, 7:15pm
Peking and Kunqu Opera Concert to memorize Yu Zhenfei
Date: May 20, 7:15pm
Tickets: 80-880 yuan
Venue: STA Experimental Theater
Address: 630 Huashan Rd
Peking Opera artist Li Peihong, together with the students of Shanghai Theater Academy, will present “The Unicorn Purse” on May 19.
Top image: The late Peking and Kunqu Opera master Yu Zhenfei (1902-93)