Peony Pavillion

The Art of Kunqu: Acting & Singing

Demonstration by renowed kunqu artist Hua Wenyi and talk by Dr. Susan Pertel Jain (UCLA)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
314 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Kunqu opera is famous for a singing style characterized by elegance and delicacy. The dancing movements and postures are highly expressive, yet always retain a touch of subtlety. This lecture and demonstration, presented by Dr. Susan Pertel Jain, an expert on kunqu opera, and also featuring prestigious kunqu opera actress Hua Wenyi, will display to the audience the hauntingly beautiful melodies of kunqu singing and its richly expressive moves that might be too fleeting to be captured during a normal stage performance.

Madam Hua Wenyi is one of China’s premier theater artists.  A graduate of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Conservatory, Hua Wenyi’s professional theater career spans almost fifty years. She is a specialist in the refined female roletype (guimen dan), exemplified by Peony Pavilion's Du Liniang. Madam Hua is a recipient of the Plum Blossom Award, China’s highest artistic honor, and is the former Artistic Director of the 200-member Shanghai Kun Opera Company. Hua Wenyi immigrated to United States in 1989 soon after establishing Hua Kun Opera, the first professional Chinese opera company in the United States. In 1997 avant-garde opera director Peter Sellars, collaborated with Madam Hua and Academy-awarding winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) to create a postmodern interpretation of the Peony Pavilion story. This production debuted at UC Berkeley, before touring to London, Paris, and Rome. In 1998 Hua Wenyi was designated a National Heritage Fellow of the United States by the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of her artistry and her commitment to preserving the kun opera tradition. Hua Wenyi currently lives in Los Angeles and continues to perform all over the world.



Cost: Free

Special instructions: Seating is limited. Reservations are essential:

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Special Instructions

RSVP required

Cost : Admission is Free

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Tel: 310-825-8683

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies