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Foreigners Who Love Peking Opera

With the overseas dissemination of Peking opera, more and more foreigners are becoming interested in Chinese opera.

In Japan, the Peking opera Troupe of Tokyo, a nongovernmental organization, boasts a history of more than 50 years. In their spare time amateur performers rehearse plays, exchange views on operatic skills and, from time to time, organize public performances.

In New York, there is a Chinese theatrical studio, whose director is Taiwanese. Her husband, Stephan, is an American. Targeting Americans as the audience of their studio, they are determined to build a bridge for Westerners to appreciate Peking opera, an oriental art.

At the same time, traveling across the oceans, many students come to China to learn and study traditional Chinese operas.

Eighteen years after the death of Mei Lanfang, Wei Lisa came to China and became an apprentice to Shen Xiaomei, one of Mei’s students. Lisa demonstrates vividly the complicated and contradictory feelings of Imperial Concubine Yang Yuhuan in the Intoxicated Imperial Concubine and hence wins the name of “Foreign Imperial Concubine (a homophone of Imperial Concubine Yang)”.

Today, when so many Chinese young people care nothing about Peking opera, why does this ancient art charm numerous foreigners who speak little Chinese and have different cultural backgrounds?Perhaps it is just as An American drama critic said, “This Chinese art conveys a national spiritual essence through elegance and beauty.” And all things with unique national spirit belong to the world.

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