The 120th Anniversary of Mei Lanfang, USA, 2014

Tour Dates: 19 August - 31 August, 2014

Mei Lanfang is the great master of Peking Opera in China. On October 22, 2014, the 120th birth Anniversary of Mei Lanfang will be celebrated.

Tour Dates
  • 19 August - 31 August, 2014
Classic Plays of Mei School
20/23 Aug 19:30 David Koch Theatre +01 (212) 496-0600
27 Aug 19:30 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
+01 (202) 467-4600, (800) 444-1324
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command
24 Aug 14:00 David Koch Theatre +01 (212) 496-0600
28 Aug 19:30 John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
+01 (202) 467-4600, (800) 444-1324

Mei Lanfang is the great master of Peking Opera in China. On October 22, 2014, the 120th birth Anniversary of Mei Lanfang will be celebrated. For chinese people, 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, and the 120th anniversary, respectively, is aslo of great significance.

To commemorate the 120th anniversary of this famous Peking Opera master and to promote the art of Peking Opera 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 Peking Opera with a group of excellent performers will follow the footprints of the Mei Lanfang, performing in the USA, Russia, and Europe.

Mei Lanfang

Mei Lanfang (1894-1961) was a world-famous master of Peking Opera in China. He was a legend for his outstanding artistic achievements as well as his contribution as a cultural ambassador of China and Chinese art. He was born into a family of Peking Opera and Kunqu performers, and became the best-known among the “Four Most Famous Dan Performers” (female role type). Because of improvements and innovations that he brought to his art, What became known as the “Mei School” describes his unique oriental opera performance system, which together with the Russian Stanislavski System and the German Brecht System form the "Three Performing Systems of the World".

Mei Lanfang led Peking Opera abroad several times, not only promote the understanding of Chinese culture and art for the people all over the world, but also brought Peking Opera among the world`s opera forest. He made his performances in Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union before 1949. His performance won reat applause. University of Southern California and Pomona Collage both conferred on him honoray doctorates of literature. Japanese scholars compiled all the newspaper reviews of his performances into a volume titled Pin Mei Ji (the Mei Review Record). His American production of Hongni Guan was made into a silent movie by a Japanese film company. Later, this production was made into a movie with sound by the famous russian director Sergei Eisenstein. The American media were lavish in their praise, stating that “Mei Lanfang's art unquestionably surpasses all obstacles existing between East and West.”In addiion, Mei Lanfang's first performance in Europe took place in a music hall on Moscow's Gorky Street. Among the audience were such luminaries as Vyacheslav Molotov, Kliment Voroshilov, Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoy, all of whom were unstinting in their praise of Mei Lanfang`s performing art.

Master Mei devoted himself to Chinese Opera for his lifetime and his contributions in Peking Opera’s development and innovation are the huge treasure which is worthy of admiration. Let alone the stage performance, Mei Lanfang was involved in teaching as well.

Jingju Theater Company of Beijing

Established in the early spring of 1979, the Peking Opera Theater Company of Beijing is one of the largest and most prestigious Peking Opera performance groups in China. It is directly affiliated to the Beijing Municipal Government and enjoys an incomparable status in domestic opera performance. With a large repertoire of traditional and modern productions, the group has made remarkable achievements inheriting and developing the art of Peking Opera.

The Peking Opera Theater Company of Beijing has been the home to numerous talented performers over the past decades. These performers include the "Four Famous Dans" (male artists who represent or impersonate themselves as female characters) Mei Lanfang, Shang Xiaoyun, Cheng Yanqiu and Xun Huisheng, and the "Five Most Acclaimed Performers" Ma Lianliang, Tan Fuying, Zhang Junqiu, Qiu Shengrong and Zhao Yanxia.

The Peking Opera Theater Company of Beijing has staged over three hundreds of classical plays and created more than a dozen of new plays since its foundation. Many of these plays have won top national awards, including Three Fights with Tao Sanchun and Last Touch to Dragon Painting. Today, the most outstanding performers of the troupe have become icons to themany young followers of the troupe: performers like Zhang Jianfeng, Yang Shaopeng and Zhang Liyuan all strive to keeplearning from their masters Mei Baojiu, Tan Yuanshou and Zhang Xuejin – the patriarchs of the Mei-, Tan- and Ma-schools, respectively.


Classic Plays of the Mei School
Lady Mu Guiying Takes Command

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