On Saturday I headed downtown with Jiali and Peter (more on them soon). We went to see a performance of the Chongqing Opera Troupe in their old theatre. The audience were mainly elderly people although there were some younger people there too. A lot of the old folks were surprised to see a laowai there and they were very keen to know if I could understand the stories being told. I explained that I enjoyed the music but was unable to follow the tale. One guy in particular was really friendly and gave a hug, I gave him a CD as a gift, the Peacock Angell CD not Surge. Could you imagine him and his wife sitting in their kitchen listening to Surge performing Pixel Carnage?

Hope you enjoy the audio snapshots, I think they, combined with a few pictures, do more for the imagination than a grainy video.

Excerpt from Saturday afternoon concert.

2 thoughts on “Downtown Sichuan Opera

  1. What a tremendous opportunity to be quartered at an Opera School! It has lost a lot of ground in the last 20 years, and performances in Beijing are mostly just excerpts for foreigners. Sounds as if you have attended a real performance, though I’m not surprisedh that the audience is mostly old people. I wonder whether the troupe goes out to towns and villages, and does it oerform complete operas eg Yangjia Nujiang (Yang fsmily female generals) or my favourite, Baishe Zhuan, Story of the White Snake. I guess that Sichuan Opera has some special characteristics which im sure your hosts will he glad to tell you about, Enjoy! john

  2. Hi John,

    Yes, it is a real honour to be resident with the Opera. It is evident that there has been quite a bit of investment in the Chongqing Opera and there is also a degree of modernisation going on. The performance I saw on Saturday was very traditional but tomorrow night there is a new performance planned in a concert hall that equals our Birmingham Hippodrome. At rehearsals today it sounded and looked amazing with double bass and cello alongside traditional Chinese instruments. The performance on Saturday consisted of four operas within two hours, I will ask them about Yangjia Nujiang and Baishe Zhuan, Story of the White Snake tomorrow. Thanks! I get to look knowledgable! Speak soon, Sid

Comments are closed.