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Peking Opera treat

Updated: 2018-04-05 08:55:41

( China Daily )

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Peking Opera actress Zhang Huoding (middle) and four of her students. [Photo by Zou Hong/China Daily]

A show at Beijing's Tianqiao Performing Arts Center slated for May 6-part of the 18th Meet in Beijing Arts Festival-promises to be a feast for fans of the ancient art. 

With delicate makeup, exquisite costumes and headwear, four young Peking Opera actresses-Li Li, Jiang Xiaoyue, Yang Xiaoyang and Yin Chanjuan-showcase their talents playing four classic Peking Opera female roles at the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts in Beijing, offering a glimpse of a show at Beijing's Tianqiao Performing Arts Center slated for May 6.

Among the audience is Zhang Huoding, one of the country's best known Peking Opera stars, who has been teaching the four female students for about a year.

During her long career, the 47-year-old Zhang has interpreted those four classic roles, including that Bai Suzhen from The Legend of White Snake and Zhu Yingtai from the Butterfly Lovers.

Speaking about the actresses, Zhang says: "They are so diligent and devoted to this art form. I am glad to see that they have taken their performance to another level over the past year, which is not easy.

"It takes solitude and years of hard training to learn Peking Opera. You have to concentrate," she adds.

Zhang, a former actress from the China National Peking Opera Company, has performed in sellout shows across the country, including a solo show at the Great Hall of the People in 2007.

Now, she teaches at the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts, one of the top academies of traditional Chinese opera, especially the 200-year-old Peking Opera, which is known as jingju in Chinese. And, over the past 10 years, since she became a mother, she has spent much of her time with her students at the school.

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