…but aren’t these butterflies beautiful? Look at Ding Xiaojun on the third picture!
Fans interactive public lesson with Ding Xiaojun and Jin Xiquan about the upcoming Under the Shade of the Willow – a 70 min long video with the two presenting several segments from the play.
Picture: Xiao Hanqiu
It was held yesterday, on 2012-06-23 – nevermind the date on the poster behind them. Special highlight: Xiquan knocks off the microphone at 41:25.
(updated) Yeah! CCTV11 Theater in the Air will broadcast the performance on 23 June (this Saturday)!
Title: 京剧全部《吕布》- Full edition classic Ye school Beijing Opera Lü Bu
[辕门射戟 Yuanmen She Ji (The Magic Shot) + 战濮阳 Zhan Puyang (Battle of Puyang)]
Date: 2012/03/23 19:15 (China time)
Place: Tianchan Yifu Theater
Performers: Jin Xiquan (金喜全), Xi Zhonglu (奚中路), Yang Donghu (杨东虎), Liu Shaojun (刘少军), Xu Jianzhong (徐建忠), Ren Guangping (任广平)
Details: Watch HERE live. (how-to)
First day of rehearsals today. Jin Xiquan loves this play very much. Credible source (Xiong Mingxia) confirms he lost weight in the last few days. :P
(edit) I’m just watching. They fixed the microphone issue! Sounds perfect! Xiquan is terrific! The best thing that happened to me in this year.
I have to add that while the audio is nice, the video is unusable. I’ll have to rip it to an mp3 file.
Eye candy (clickety for many more: [lvbu20120223.rar])
Title: 菊坛传响— 国粹文化周（2012）北京 – Jutan Chuan Xiang—National Essence Cultural Week 2012 Beijing
Date: 2012/07/06 – 2012/07/08
Place: Mei Lanfang Grand Theater, Beijing
Details: Spend three evenings with Ding Xiaojun!
2012/07/06: 京剧《四郎探母》Silang Visits His Mother – Ling Ke, Ding Xiaojun, Jiang Yishan, Guo Yaoyao, Jin Xiquan
2012/07/07: 京剧《柳荫记》Under the Shade of the Willow – Ding Xiaojun, Jin Xiquan
2012/07/08: 京剧《霸王别姬》Farewell My Concubine - Ding Xiaojun, Yang Chi, Liu Kuikui
Ref.: Click here, here and here.
Ding Xiaojun and Jin Xiquan devotedly rehearse Shade of the Willow in the heat, under the watchful eyes of Du Jinfang and Ye Shaolan. (I just posted an old picture with Du Jinfang and Ye Shenglan in these roles here.) The Ding-Jin duo definitely cannot complain about the lack of expert guidance.
Rumors spreading on social networks about the early death of the well-known 49 years old jingju xiaosheng, Jin Xuebin (靳学斌) finally proved to be true.
The sad news were confirmed by Zhang Ping several hours ago, they’ve been working together in Beijing Military Region Comrade-in-Arms Jingju Troupe for more than 20 years. Friends and colleagues feel deeply sorrowful, just like opera fans.
According to his will, his remains will be cremated on the 23rd without any funeral and farewell ceremony. The theater will hold a memorial meeting around the 7th next year.
Yuan Huiqin’s ex-husband had a pleasant voice and those who knew him well say he was a sincere and kind person. I found his Luo Cheng at the City Gates (ref), you can download it below.
Recently I found a video of the full 130min long staging of Beijing Opera《罗成》Luo Cheng with Jin Xiquan in the title role. This typical Ye school play requires great vocal abilities, expressive acting and fine martial skills. Unfortunately the video is ultimately crappy quality, but the sound is tolerable.
Today is the 97th birthday of Ye Shenglan (叶盛兰，1914.12.10-1978.6.15), also the role deserves a little research, so I’ll post a couple of videos with the most famous aria from the most famous part of the play, Luo Cheng Jiao Guan (Luo Cheng Crying At the City Gate).
Warning: If you are afraid of male falsetto you possibly won’t like it. (Since Bertrand “appointed” me at operabeijing.com, this blog more and more reflects my own interest, and less biased material goes there. ^^)
(1) Standard setter Ye Shenglan’s Luo Cheng is available only as audio recording, obviously. Fortunately it was included in the Sound Essence of China’s Beijing Opera project (the “lip-synching series” to save old Beijing Opera records), with Ye Shenglan’s voice and Ye Shaolan’s acting. Since the son is carbon copy of his daddy in appearance, this video has a really nice “exactly as if …” feeling.
(2) From the 1million copies I have with Ye Shaolan I decided to post a version that’s possibly not the highest quality video, but this is the only one where he’s wearing costume. Sound is from one of his own earlier recordings, so it has sort of an “archaic” feeling as well.
(3) The Li Hongtu’s excerpt is one year old, from a highlights performance in Chang’an Grand Theatre on 1 October 2010. Note his one-sleeved archer riding jacket, very practical. The accompanist is very good too.
(4) The young new star, Zhu Fu (朱福) performed a full version a few months ago in Mei Lanfang Theater, and his troupe just got an award for outstanding performance for this play at the 6th Beijing Opera Festival in Wuhan.
The video with Jin Xiquan’s version is really too bad quality to post it. I tried to extract the sound to mp3 but I failed so far.
Do you believe me if I just tell you it’s very precise (and high-pitched :P)? But I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t paste a picture at least, so here it goes:
I don’t remember who made this shot, sorry…
The Flying General, legendary warrior Lü Bu, one of the characters in Romance of the Three Kingdoms is also appearing in Beijing opera pieces White Gate Tower and Lü Bu and Diaochan.
Lü Bu was one of the notable roles of Ye Shenglan, consequently played by Ye Shaolan later. He passed down this knowledge to his direct disciple, Li Hongtu, who is starring in this staging with Guo Wei and Chen Junjie.
White Gate Tower tells the story of the downfall of Lü Bu, the historical description of his death is a bit different from the play though.
Lü Bu (吕布): Li Hongtu (李宏图)
Diaochan (貂蝉): Guo Wei (郭伟)
Cao Cao (曹操): Chen Junjie (陈俊杰)
Chen Gong (陈宫): Han Shengcun (韩胜存)
Liu Bei (刘备): Kang Er Ming (康二明)
Guan Yu (关羽): Wang Xueqing (王雪清)
Zhang Fei (张飞): Huang Yanzhong (黄彦忠)
Zhang Liao (张辽): Feng Shengzhang (冯胜章)
Cao Cao and Liu Bei launch a military campaign against Lü Bu. Though the city of Xiapi is besieged, Lü Bu is enjoying life in the company of Diaochan and lots of wine.
Lü Bu’s advisor, Chen Gong wants to inform Lü Bu that Cao Cao’s troops are at the palace gate, and he should come and see it. A servant is conveying the message, but Diaochan’s answer is that Lü Bu is already drunk, come back later. Of course Chen Gong isn’t happy with the decadent behaviour of the lord.
Zhang Liao comes as next, but he doesn’t let the servant to turn him away, rushes to Lü Bu and informs him that his beloved horse, Red Hare and his halberd was stolen. Now Lü Bu is already worried, how could he fight a battle unarmed and defenseless? Diaochan is comforting him that with his unmatched military skills Lü Bu will be victorious even without horse and weapon. Lü Bu commands his generals to prepare for war, they must catch the thief alive. The groom is preparing a horse for him and Lü Bu is galloping away.
After a fierce fight with Liu Bei, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu, Lü Bu gets captured and brought to White Gate Tower. Meanwhile Diaochan comes before Cao Cao, and she’s begging for pardon and mercy. Cao Cao accepts the apology and orders his men to safely transport Daiochan to the old palace, which she gladly accepts.
Lü Bu gets absolutely furious when seeing Diaochan at White Gate Tower. Previously he was killing Dong Zhuo to rescue Diaochan, and now this loose woman has deserted him too. Chen Gong, also in chains, complains that he suspected that Diaochan is a hypocrite. Lü Bu is showing remorse for being so attached to wine and women recently.
Cao Cao is planning to spare Lü Bu and keep him as his general, though Liu Bei, Zhang Fei and Guan Yu aren’t fascinated by the idea. Lü Bu has no alternative but pledging allegiance to Cao Cao who almost takes the bait, but Liu Bei is reminding him of Ding Jianyang and Dong Zhuo – Lü Bu was pledging service to these two lords before, but betrayed and killed them later. Lü Bu is making a vain attempt to convince Liu Bei on account of their former friendship, but Cao Cao changes his mind and orders Lü Bu to get decapitated.
Some more related videos
→ Aria “Seeing Diaochan my heart is raging with fire” [DOWNLOAD] 12MB
1954 gramophone recording of Ye Shenglan (叶盛兰), played by Ye Shaolan.
→ Aria “Today I was defeated in battle” [DOWNLOAD] 37MB
Performed by Ye Shaolan (叶少兰).
→ 京剧《吕布与貂蝉•小宴》Lü Bu and Diaochan - The Small Dinner [DOWNLOAD] 44MB
Performed by Ye Shaolan and Wang Yan (王艳).
So funny @01:26 as Lü Bu is moving his chair closer to Diaochan, he’s looking around like “No-one is watching? Right…”
Quick edit: Wang Yan just got her first Plum Blossom Award this month.
I swear I’m not stalking the young man, he just always comes to me nowadays.
Jin Xiquan has already shown in Xi Xiang Ji that he has a talent in comedy. The following 2 hour play has quite a lot of funny scenes.
Lu Kunjie’s role was often played by Ye Shenglan, then by his son Ye Shaolan who now directed this opera with his student, Jin Xiquan in the leading role.
If already at the topic of passing down knowledge, here’s a little English readable.
→ Family business as usual (PDF) - 09/Jan/2008 edition of China Daily
Ye Shaolan is speaking about his father, his grandfather and the hardships of Beijing opera training.
Lu Kunjie (卢昆杰): Jin Xiquan (金喜全)
Di Yunluan (狄云鸾): Xiong Mingxia (熊明霞)
Mother Di: Jin Xihua (金锡华)
Lang Xiayu (郎霞玉): Zhou Baisui (周百穗)
Servant maid: Yu Wei (虞伟)
Di Longkang (狄龙康): Dong Hongsong (董洪松)
Lang Feibao (郎飞豹): Yang Donghu (杨东虎)
Lang Feihu (郎飞虎): Yu Hui (于辉)
Di’s wife: Yan Haiying (严海鹰)
Di Yingluan (狄英鸾): Ge Xiangru (葛香汝)
Lu Kunjie from Shangdong, nephew of the Sichuan governor general falls on hard times and wanders in destitute, finally he becomes a traveling entertainer. In Hukou he marries Di Yunluan, the second daughter of the chivalrous bandit, Di Longkang. Later, when Lu finds out that his father-in-law is a bandit-chief, he decides to escape with his wife who is willing to accompany him. But it’s easier to enter the mountain stronghold then to go out… Man and wife try to break through the gate of the stockade, but they are continuously defeated by Yunluan’s kin. Finally they arrive to the main gate of the stronghold that is guarded by Yunluan’s paternal grandmother. Di Yunluan knows she’s no match for her granny, so entreats piteously for releasing them. Finally her granny lets them to go downhill and flee.
(This post went through some major rewamping with longer and better quality videos and more detailed bios after posted first.)
→ 京剧 《赤壁之战·壮别》Zhuang Bie – a snippet from Chibi Zhi Zhan (Battle of Redcliff)
- Ye Shaolan (叶少兰) as Zhou Yu (周瑜), Shang Changrong (尚长荣) as Huang Ge (黄盖)
- Li Hongtu (李宏图) as Zhou Yu, Meng Guanglu (孟广禄) as Huang Ge
- Jin Xiquan (金喜全) as Zhou Yu
Ye Shaolan, wenwu xiaosheng, Beijing opera director was born in 1943 into a remarkable opera family: his father was Ye Shenglan (叶盛兰), his paternal uncle Ru Fulan (茹富兰), his grandfather Ye Chunshan (叶春善), founder of Fu Lian Cheng (富连成), China’s largest and longest-running Beijing opera school.
Barely at the age of 15 he was admitted to the National Chinese Opera Academy. After graduation in 1962, he pursued his studies in Kunqu under the guidance of Yu Zhenfei. In the 60s he entered the Central Academy of Drama for additional studies.
He got the Plum Blossom in its very first year, 1984. In 1988 at the China National Theater Festival his performance of Zhuang Bie, in cooperation with Li Changchun got a big response. He restored the art of Ye school with plays like Lü Bu and Diaochan《吕布与貂蝉》, Zhou Ren Offering his Sister-in-law 《周仁献嫂》and Liu Yin Ji《柳荫记》, performing and lecturing in the US, UK, France, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Egypt, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Ye Shaolan holds many positions, like permanent council member of Chinese Dramatists Association, Fulbright international scholarship, director of Beijing Military Region Comrades-in-Arms Cultural Troupe, committee member of CPPCC, major general of Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In 1999 he got the United States Meihua Art Center’s award for lifelong achievements.
He has a flexible voice with implicit charm, pleasant to listen even for Westerners often freaked out by xiaosheng.
His wife, Xu Jiabao (许嘉宝), well-known Mei school actress of Beijing Military Region Comrades-in-Arms Cultural Troupe sadly died of illness in 2009.
Li Hongtu (李宏图), Ye school xiaosheng, officially a disciple of Ye Shaolan since 1993. He was admitted to the Hebei Academy of Art Beijing Opera division in 1976. After graduating in 1979, he entered The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. After finishing school in 1982, he was assigned to Beijing Experimental Peking Opera Troupe, later to Beijing Peking Opera Theater Fifth Troupe, in 1989 to Beijing Peking Opera Youth Troupe and finally in 1998 to Beijing Peking Opera Theater First Troupe.
In 1997 he studied in NACTA’s First Class of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers. In cooperation with the Guangdong Han Opera Theater he took part in a new Beijing-Han opera setup of a historical drama Butterfly Dream《蝴蝶梦》.
Li Hongtu is an award reaper, he scored Beijing Outstanding Young Actor Award in 1984, Beijing Young Chinese Opera Performers Award in 1988, Nationwide Youth Team Drama Award for outstanding joint performance in 1992, first prize in China Ministry of Culture’s National Competition of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers in 2000, Plum Blossom award in 2001 and more.
He has a clear, sonorous voice, handsome stage appearance, does both wen and wu, performs in a natural, elegant and stylish Ye school manner.
Jin Xiquan (金喜全), Ye school wenwu xiaosheng, national level first-class performer. Just like Li Hongtu, he was admitted to the Hebei Academy of Art in 1991 and continued his studies at The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in 1998.
He also studied in the Fourth Class of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers (2004-2007), and got guidance from numerous teachers like Zhang Chunxiao and Ru Shaoquan during the years. Since he dedicated himself solely for xiaosheng role, he’s a disciple of Ye Shaolan.
He got the Shanghai Yulan Magnolia Award in 2007 for best performance in a leading role.
I couldn’t find when he was born but his wife, actress Xiong Mingxia is very young (born in 1976), so most likely he’s too.
Jin Xiquan has a very clear and high-pitched voice, also he’s very handsome and expressive on stage. I have to admit that gradually I’ve turned into his loyal fan.
Haoran zheng qi chong xiao han
(Courageous spirit soaring up high)