UAlbany Confucius Institute Brings Chinese Opera to the Capital Region

Beijing Opera “Green Sone Mountain” excerpt by Wang Chan and Chen Lei at GE Power in Schenectady, NY

UAlbany Confucius Institute (CI), led by Executive Director Dr. Youqin Huang, an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, aims to facilitate the understanding of China. CI offers various programs both on and off campus, including Chinese language instruction, cultural events, speaker series, academic conferences and workshops, and faculty and student exchange program.

In February, 2017, CI organized three events, bringing Chinese opera to UAlbany campus and the larger community in the Capital Region. These events have enriched students’ experience and have helped the community better understand and appreciate Chinese opera.

On Feb. 3rd, 2017, CI for the first time brought Chinese Opera into General Electric. Invited by GE Schenectady Asian Pacific American Forum (APAF), CI presented Beijing Opera excerpts and Chinese traditional music at APAF’s 2017 kickoff event.

Left: Beijing Opera “Green Stone Mountain” Excerpt by Wang Chan
Right: Beijing Opera “The Golden Panther” Excerpt by Shi Liuxiaoshuang

On Feb. 4th, 2017, CI organized (with the Chinese Community Center in the Capital District) a wonderful celebration event in The Egg themed “Amazing China: New Year Spectacular”. More than one thousand people from the area packed The Egg, and enjoyed a feast of music, dance, and action offered by performers from National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing, University at Binghamton (SUNY), as well as local communities. In addition to featuring various Chinese Opera performances, martial arts, Chinese traditional music played with Chinese instruments such as flute and pipa were also featured in the show.

On Feb. 17, 2017, CI presented a unique class in the Lecture Center at UAlbany Uptown campus, which has attracted both students, faculty and community members. Dr. TU Linghui, is a Professor of Chinese Opera from National Institute of Theatre Arts in Beijing, and currently a Visiting Professor of Beijing Opera at SUNY-Binghamton. She is a National Class-One Performer of Chinese Opera and a winner of two most prestigious awards, the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre, and the Wenhua Performance Award. In this fascinating class, Prof. TU demonstrated basic Beijing Opera and other Chinese Opera techniques, and showcased an array of costumes and accessories that dazzled and delighted the senses. Audiences not only learned about the history of Chinese operas, differences between various types of Chinese operas, and how to appreciate Chinese opera, but also had the chance to experience Chinese opera first hand. They learned the basic acting and singing technique, tried Chinese opera costumes, and practiced Beijing opera stage fighting.

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