Female Generals of the Yang Family – Peking Opera in Vilnius

Thursday 4 June, 19:00, Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre

Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre (A. Vienuolio st. 1), Vilnius

Adaptation by Fan Junhong, Liu Ruiming
Stage director – Zheng Yiqiu
Sound engineer – Zhang Fu
Scenographer – Zhao Jinsheng
The production director – Sun Guiyuan
The production coach – Zhang Lan
The production scenographer – Dong Yongmao
The production lighting designers – Li Jingcheng, Zhang Youyou
The production music and instrumentation – Zhu Jiang, Chen Xiaoman
Cast and performers:
Mu Guing – Li Shengsu, Zhu Hong
Lady She – Zhang Jing
Emperor Renzong of the Song Dynasty – Yu Kuizhi
Kou Zhun – Xu Teng
Princess Chai – Wang Fang
Wang Hui – Chen Guosen
Wang Wen – Liu Kuikui
Yang Wenguang – Dai Zhongyu
Yang Qiniang – Pan Yuejiao
Old Herbal Medicine Collector – Ma Xiangfei
Zhang Biao – Wang Haoqiang
Wang Xiang – Xu Mingyuan
Jiao Tinggui – Hu Bin
Meng Huaiyuan – Wei Jiaqing
With the participation of Zhao Qi (drum), Zhang Shunxiang, Wei Wei (jinghu)

Female Generals of the Yang Family – Peking Opera in Vilnius
Vilnius Festival presents an exceptional opportunity to experience the unique phenomenon, which fascinates and mesmerises millions of art lovers and professionals around the world. Peking Opera is, perhaps, the richest and most complex style of Chinese musical drama, pursued in Northeast China. Its roots lie in the 12th century, but its shape we are familiar with today formed in the 19th century at the Emperor’s palace during the rule of the Ching Dynasty. Peking Opera absorbed idiosyncratic features of national theatre: conditional expression form, colourful costumes, expressive mask-like facial makeup, specific theatre language and movements. Peking Opera flourished in the 20th century becoming the national and most acclaimed opera form in China. Its repertoire amounts to 1300 traditional and contemporary stage productions of which 400 are still performed to this day. In 2010, the UNESCO declared Peking Opera the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Opera spectacles reflect on significant historical, political and social events of China. Noble war generals are venerated, traitors are condemned; love theme also makes a regular subject.

Vilnius Festival presents China National Peking Opera Company (CNPOC), one of the national ensembles of performance arts directly affiliated with the Ministry of Culture, People’s Republic of China. The company was founded in 1955. The CNPOC has been recruiting performing artists in various schools of Peking Opera as well as notable dramatists, directors, composers and stage artists to become one of the strongest ensembles in the field.

In the past sixty years, the CNPOC produced (created) and performed more than 600 traditional or new dramas with different subjects and genres, which are popular with and greatly praised by numerous audiences.

More than 100 performers and 40 dramas have won various national and international prizes and awards, such as “Wen Hua Prize”, “Mei Hua Prize”, “Mei Lanfang Gold Prize”, “Prize of Elaborate Works Engineering for the National Stage Art” and “Gold Prize of the Chinese Peking Opera Festival”.

The CNPOC willingly shoulders the great responsibility in the international cultural exchange, and has had performance tours in more than 50 countries around the world, that actively contributed to the promulgation of Chinese culture.

For Vilnius Festival audience the China National Peking Opera Company presents Female Generals of the Yang Family, which tells the story of female generals of the Yang family safeguarding their homeland after most of the male members of the family were killed in a battle. Yang Zongbao, the marshal of Song Dynasty, was killed in a battle. His grandmother, Lady She, suppressing her grief, led the female generals of the family to the battlefield. Mu Guiying, Yang Zongbao’s wife, was appointed the vanguard. With their concerted efforts, the enemy was defeated.