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Dialing into tradition

Updated: 2023-01-20 07:52 ( CHINA DAILY )
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A young Peking Opera performer paints his face for the role of ancient hero Guan Yu. CHINA DAILY

"It's my responsibility to pass it on," he says.

"It is not only the Peking Opera practitioners, but people from all walks of life that have experienced various hardships over the years and are striving to overcome the difficulties," Song says, adding that, by showing the perseverance of Gu, the Peking Opera performer, he hopes the audience will stick to their ideals and achieve success.

Just as Gu's teacher in the film says, "you won't present Guan's loyalty and righteousness well if you haven't met troubles in life."

Things are, however, getting better. Wang has noticed an increasing number of young audience members in the theater, and he himself has accumulated a sizable fan base on livestreaming platforms.

And those who left have got the chance to come back.

In the film, when warming up backstage, Gu's former Peking Opera colleagues are astonished and a bit envious that the youngster has been given the opportunity to play the lead role. With only their nostalgia, they leave to embark on new careers.

However, in reality, more than three decades later, Song's mother is thrilled to have been invited to teach Peking Opera. She reviewed the opera excerpts she used to play, copying the lines down and learning them by heart.

Song was touched seeing his mother reciting the lines on the subway while commuting to the school.

"She was forced to give it up, but when it came back to her, she took it very seriously," he says.











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