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Beijing opera master to shine in city
Latest Updated by 2004-09-23 10:15:34

Invited by the Shenzhen Performance Company, the Beijing Opera Troupe of Shanghai will stage the Beijing opera Golden Years of Zhenguan on Sept. 29 in Shenzhen, as the highlight of the city's 2004 performance season.

Prestigious Beijing opera artist Shang Changrong, 65, will act as Wei Zheng, premier of the monarch Li Shimin of the Tang Dynasty.

Shang had successfully portrayed a great politician of the Three Kingdoms period (220-280), Cao Cao, who had a political vision as well as an intriguing personality. He is famous in the art world and among fans for his excellent voice and his sophistication in depicting the subtle emotions of a character.

The audience can expect to see Shang employ his mastery of art and experience to reproduce one of many occasions that Wei Zheng persuades Li Shimin to correct a wrong decision, making the ancient official live on stage. Meanwhile, Shang's play will shed light on China's current endeavor to build an honest and corruption-free government.

Shang comes from a sophisticated and artistic background. His father Shang Xiaoyun was one of the best four Beijing opera artists in the first half of the 20th century, and his two elder brothers were also famous Beijing opera actors.

Shang was able to watch many shows performed by his family and mimic their performances at a young age. He started to perform on stage at the age of 5 in a supporting role to his father, which won applause from passionate audiences.

When he was in his early 20s, he appeared on stage in his father's shows and became identified for his talent. However, shortly afterwards during the "cultural revolution," Shang was forbidden to perform traditional Beijing opera, and was dispatched to run errands for other "revolutionary-minded" actors. It may sound humiliating to an artist, but those tough days helped Shang accumulate experiences that would make his performance true to life.

When the decade-long "cultural revolution" ended, Shang was able to soar to fame for his role as Cao Cao. But Shang didn't stop there, he ventured into the world of Western drama in his adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, and presented it in the form of the traditional Beijing opera.

Later, Shang and other Beijing opera artists got involved in the preparation of the Golden Years of Zhenguan. Since its premiere at the beginning of 1999, the show has achieved nationwide success, with more than 70 performances in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other major cities, attracting not only the elderly but also many young people.

Editor: Catherine

By:Alfred Zhang Source:szdaily
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