Founded by Chu Shan Zhu ( Chu Shan's Personal Website ) and Judy Huang in 1991, The Washington Chu Shan Chinese Opera Institute (WCSCOI) emphasizes the historical and geographical diversity of Chinese opera and the Chinese performing arts, by presenting works of various genres from North and South Mainland China as well as Taiwan.
Mr. Zhu is the fourth generation of a family of opera artists. He trained from an early age at the Shanghai College of Traditional opera, the Shanghai Institute for the Performing Arts, and the Chinese Center for Film and Television. He has directed over sixty operas and received awards for script writing and modern Chinese Opera. As part of the WCSCOI's outreach programs, he has introduced Chinese art forms to over sixty thousand school children.
Ms. Huang is the artistic director of WCSCOI and an award-winning actress trained in both Chinese and Western opera. A graduate of the Shanghai Opera School, Ms. Huang was first trained at the age of five by her grandfather, the famous Huang Qui Qui, who developed the Huang style of Qingyu performance. Ms. Huang has performed lead roles at the Beijing Opera House of Shanghai, on Chinese television, and at the JFK Center for Performing Arts. Ms. Huang was the recipient of the Maryland State Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1994 and 1996.
Since its founding in 1991, WCSCOI has continuously focused in efforts on promoting and developing high quality traditional Chinese performing arts. In 2002, we performed the large-scale opera The Monkey King, for which we received the approbation of mainstream American audiences and an excellent review in the Washington Post. In our latest performance, we have invited a group of performers hailing from Shanghai, New York, Taipei, and Washington, DC, to create a new show, the marvelous "Maryland Presents: Traditional Chinese Opera Arts."
Another really unique fact about WCSCOI is that we train people of all age, race and sex in the art. Nobody is ever too old in our school. For more information, please visit the Classes section of our web site!