International Exchanges

With the advent of the internet and other new technologies the world is becoming a smaller place. Beijing opera is also affected. The books below address the issue of change and diaspora of Beijing opera in the twenty first century. The four websites contain information on Beijing opera troupes from China performances in the United States. Even though the performances are over, these sites still show the places the troupes performed as well as the troupes who tour(ed) the United States.

On the lower half on the web page I have listed Beijing opera culture, classes, and performing troupes found in the United States websites. Some of the ones visible online are the Qi Shufang Peking Opera troupe, the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa theatre students, the Chinese Opera Association of Hawai'i, and the California Institute for the Chinese Performing Arts.

1.International Exchange Resources


  • Li, Ruru. 2010. The Soul of Beijing Opera: Theatrical Creativity and Continuity in the Changing World. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. (also in Performers)

    Li Ruru studies the changes in Beijing opera over the past century through describing the lives of and issues undergone by six performers in China and Taiwan: Cheng Yanqi, Li Yuru, Ma Yongan, Yan Qinggu, Kuo Hsiao-chuang, and Wu Hsing-kuo. A short epilogue outlines the current situation of Beijing opera from 2005 to 2008 and the possible future.

    "Jingju, like Confucianism, is perceived as useful in the development of the cultural nationalism in the twenty-first century. It functions both internationally and at home" (279).

  • Wichmann-Walczak, Elizabeth. 2005. "Jingju (Beijing/Peking 'opera') as international art and as transnational root of cultural identification; processes of creation and reception in Shanghai, Nanjing and Honolulu." In Diasporas and Interculturalism in Asian Performing Arts: Translating traditions, ed. Hae-kyung Um, pp.161-175. New York: RoutledgeCurzon.

    This chapter compares the changes and innovations in Beijing opera in Nanjing and Shanghai, followed by further changes in English speaking Beijing opera performances in English in University of Hawaii productions. Issues of what Beijing opera identity and the promotion of Beijing opera to non-Chinese audiences are raised.

    "The desire to perpetuate jingju as a transnational root of cultural identification tends to be a conservative force, but the goal of promoting jingju as an international art implies both preservation of the traditional and creation of the new, calling as it does for a wealth of classic pieces, and continued, exciting growth" (172).

Scholarly Websites:

  • East Asia Program. 2010. The International Monkey King Troupe. Cornell University. Oct. 6. (also in Teachers' Resources)

    The webpage features The International Monkey Troupe from Beijing, led and directed by the Brit Ghaffar Pourazar. The troupe performed at Cornell University in New York state in 2004 and gave workshops about Beijing opera history, music, and dance. A link to Beijing opera materials for elementary students is also present on the website.

  • Skirball Center for the Performing Arts. n.d. Tenth Annual Peking Opera Festival. New York University. 6 Oct. 2010.

    This performance on October 24, 2010 in New York City features the Qi Shufang Peking Opera Troupe performing parts of the well-known Chinese story Journey to the West as well as excerpts from other Beijing opera plays (see the section Beijing opera troupes in the United States) is on this web page. Pictures of the troupe are on either side of the text.

  • University of Alaska Anchorage. 2010. UAA Confucius Institute Brings Peking Opera to Alaska. Mar. 1. Oct. 4.

    This website describes a performance of a Beijing opera troupe from the National Academy of Chinese Arts in Beijing to University of Alaska Anchorage on November 3, 2009. Nine pictures of the performance and pre-performance activities are included.

  • UCLA Asia Institute. 2010. Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Company. Oct. 6.

    The China Beijing Opera Institute Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Company performed in UCLA on October 8, 2008. Lecture and demonstration were included.

2.Beijing opera troupes in the United States

  • California Institute for Chinese Performing Arts. 2010. Home. Oct. 6.

    This website is from an California organization supports American-Chinese cultural exchange and aids development in Beijing opera and other Chinese operas (About). Recently, they invited the Mei Lanfang troupe to perform on April 25, 2010.

  • Documentary Arts, Inc. 2009. Master Qi and the Monkey King. 9 Oct. 2010.

    A short biography of Qi Shufang, the founder of the Qi Shufang Peking Opera troupe based in New York City, is found on the webpage advertising an upcoming movie about her. A two minute video clip shows excerpts of the movie.

  • Egan, Carol. 2010. "Beijing Opera Returns to Kennedy Theatre." Jan. 21. Malamalama. Oct. 4.

    This online article gives an brief biography of University of Hawai'i-Mānoa Beijing opera scholar and play director Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak as well as the rehearsal process of the White Snake production. The performances of the Beijing opera The White Snake took place from February 5th to February 14th, 2010.

  • Ye, Ding. 1998. The Red Maid (Hongniang). March. 10. Kapiolani Community College. 6 Oct. 2010.

    Set up in 1998, this website describes the Chinese Opera Association of Hawaii production of Beijing opera's Hongniang at a college library. It contains several pictures of the performance, a synopsis of and aria lyrics from Hongniang, and information on professional qingyi actress Wang Hui-ling.

Egan, Carol. 2010. "Beijing Opera Returns to Kennedy Theatre." Jan. 21. Malamalama. Oct. 4.

Egan, Carol. 2010. "Beijing Opera Returns to Kennedy Theatre." Jan. 21. Malamalama. Oct. 4.