The 120th Anniversary of Mei Lanfang (Russia tour + USA tour): Peking Opera Festival 2014

On October 22, 2014, the 120th birth anniversary of Mei Lanfang, the great master of Jingju, will be celebrated.

The Chinese 60-year calendar cycle, which is based on the combinations of a cycle of ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches, makes the 60th birthday a very important event. Therefor the 120th anniversary is also of great significance. To commemorate the 120th anniversary of this famous Jingju master and to promote the art of Jingju itself, Mr. Li Enjie, president of Jingju Theater Company of Beijing, has initiated the “120th Anniversary of Mei Lanfang” project. Under the leadership of Mr. Mei Baojiu, son of Mei Lanfang, a world tour of Jingju with a group of top performers shall follow the footprints of Mei Lanfang.

The whole project, which started in June 2013, consists of 3 parts: Jingju performances in China, the US, Japan and Russia; exhibitions about Mei Lanfang (supported and presented by Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum); and several celebration ceremonies in the most important cities.

Program Information:

Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command

When Western Xia invades Northern Song, retired old general She Taijunsends her great grandchildren, Yang Wenguang and Yang Jinhua to the capital city for information. Wenguangdefeats Wang Lun, son of the treacherous offical Wang Qiang, in a martial arts competition held to select the marshal who will lead the army against Western Xia forces. Mu Guiying, Yang Wenguang’s mother, has long held a grudge against the emperor. Persuaded by She Taijun and others, the patriotic general Mu Guiying agrees to lead the army in battling invaders.

The Legend of White Snake

This piece is a Chinese legend, which has been used as a popular subject in several Chinese operas, films and television series. The play tells the story of a the young scholar Xu Xian who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is actually a thousand-year-old White Snake that has taken on human form. A monk named Fahai, envious of their love, devises many wicked plans in order to separate the couple. After many trials and tribulations, the White Snake and Xu Xian are reunited.