April 08, 2010

Peking Opera

For several hundred years, the opera has captivated audiences in Beijing. A friend of mine was performing in one staged by an amateur troupe in the student area of Wudaokou. All the performers work or study during the week, but find time each weekend to practice one of the city's oldest art forms. When she invited me to attend I readily accepted. It was my first opera of any kind so I did not know what to expect.

Front row seats were reserved for me. I was commended for staying awake for the duration of the four hour extravaganza that featured singing, dancing, extensive makeup, and elaborate costumes. My friend's mother was also in attendance, along with many senior citizens. After the performance was over I delighted the performers by taking photos with them. The mother commented that I only posed for pictures with pretty young girls. The daughter gave me a frown.


"I don't mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don't understand." ~ Edward Appleton