2016 Performances

25th Anniversary Performance Show

1:30 PM Students Performance
4:15 PM Professional Artists
7:15 PM New Opera Debut

Sept. 24th, 2016
Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center
7995 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Ticket information
Ms. Jiao 202-360-9249
Ms. Xiao 240-330-5657
Ms. Shen 301-792-8881

The 25th anniversary performance to be held on Sept. 24th, 2016. We will present Chinese opera shows that have been created and played by us in the past. The repertoire of the performance will include Farewell My Concubine, The Monkey King, Bie Gong Ji Jiang, as well as other pieces performed by the students of our institute.

In addition, we will bring a collection of episodes adapted from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Macbeth, and The Merry Wives of Windsor on Sept 24h, 2016. The show will be divided into three sections each of which represents one of three Chinese opera forms - traditional, modern and a mixed of both.

This performance is made possible by the funding support from National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Monkey King and the Red Boy
The Monkey King has been serving children in Washington DC Metropolitan area for over 20 years. We will take the performance to your home, school or organization by appointment.

In addition to Chinese opera education to youth, we also provide on-going classes to adults and seniors at CCACC (Chinese Culture and Community Service Center) in 2016.

2014 Performance

Lantern Festival Show
Feb, 2014
New York City
Director: Chu Shan Zhu
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2011-2013 Performances

King David and Bathsheba
December, 2013
New York City
Director: Chu Shan Zhu
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Capture and Release the General Cao
December, 2011
New York City
Director: Chu Shan Zhu
View Rehearsal Videos

Past Performances
View Production

The roots of Chinese opera can be traced back 3,000 years, with elements of song and dance, religious ritual, court music, acrobatics, puppetry and shadow plays, balladry, and farce.

Without financial backing for large props and scenery, actors relied heavily upon stylized movement and symbolic action to portray events and characters. The material limitations of Chinese opera during the Qing formed the basis of the Chinese opera aesthetic, which is still the case today. This aesthetic is often called xieyi or, literally, freestyle writing with brushstrokes. Like a brush-created character which only approximates the standard printed character in exact form, performers portray movement, behavior, and mood through a set repertoire of acting forms. They do not strive for realism. Ornamentation permeates Chinese opera, from props, to movement, to acting. A horse whip, for example, is made to look beautiful for the stage with tassles. A young woman sewing might aestheticize her actions by the way she poses her fingers in the act of sewing. Laughter and crying might be ornamented, depending on the role category of the character, and the type of crying or laughter.

Today, as in the past, a student of Chinese opera must master a wide range of performance skills, broken down into the four categories: chang (singing); zuo (performing); nian (speaking); da (martial arts). What makes up a Chinese opera role--whether that of the dan (young woman), xiaosheng (young man), laosheng (old man), or chou (clown)--is defined by the set of performance skills to be mastered by the performer of that role. An actor, after mastering the skills of his or her role can, in the course of his or her career, create and add new ones. Mei Lanfang, the preeminent Peking Opera actor of the twentieth century, who travelled throughout the world to present Chinese opera to people inside and outside China, was highly innovative in developing roles.