The art of Kunqu and Peking opera

Chinese opera

In this lecture-recital, Ms. Tang Yuen-ha will describe her experiences as a student of Maestro Yu Zhenfei, the last of the great exponents of traditional Chinese opera, and the traditional system of theatrical training (the old-fashioned keban科班 and the modern xixiao戲校). She will briefly touch on the philosophical and aesthetic foundations of this great theatrical art form. Ms. Tang's lecture will be illustrated with a wide range of video recordings, and she will also give some solo performances.

About the Speaker

Ms. Tang Yuen-ha is an acclaimed performer of Chinese Traditional Theatre, and is the founder and artistic director of Hong Kong’s Jingkun Theatre. She performs frequently in China, often in collaboration with leading Chinese ensembles. She trained in Shanghai with Maestro Yu Zhenfei, the last of the great exponents of traditional Chinese opera, and went on to develop a wide range of roles in both Peking Opera and the older, more lyrical Kunqu. She was awarded China’s prestigious Plum Blossom Award in 1991.

Ms Tang is now completing her doctoral dissertation at the ANU on the Aesthetics of Chinese Classical Theatre. She has visited the ANU with her theatrical troupe on two separate occasions (in 2007 and 2009). Everyone who came to her performance with Geng Tianyuan in May this year will want to take this opportunity of hearing the diva once more.

After the Seminar

To allow for informal discussion, the seminar will be followed by drinks at Fellows’ Bar, University House, ANU. All are welcome.

The ANU China Seminar Series is supported by the China Institute, the Research School of Asia and the Pacific, and the Australian Centre on China in the World at The Australian National University.


Ms. Tang Yuen-ha

Dates & times

Friday, 4 December 2015

4.00pm - 5.30pm


Auditorium, China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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