Kunqu, The elegant entertainment for a Chinese Empress

Enjoy brief selections from famous Beijing opera and kunqu plays with two actors in the full makeup and costumes of this lavish court tradition. At 6:30 pm, hear the duet “A Stroll in the Garden” from The Peony Pavilion, composed in 1598 and the most popular court play during the Qing dynasty. At 7:30 pm, hear the solo “The Drunken Royal Consort,” and at 8:30 pm, hear the duet “A Banquet for Two,” both from The Palace of Eternal Life. Written in 1688, this epic tale tells of political corruption, military revolt, and social unrest through the love story of Emperor Minghuang and Lady Yang.

Performing are Michelle Ling Yang and Qingqing Wu of the Oriental Operatic Artists Association in New York. Yang received her theater training at the Tianjin Institute of Performing Arts in China. She went on to perform leading roles with the Tianjin Peking Opera House and appeared in popular Chinese movies and television series. Since coming to the United States, she has performed at the Peabody Essex Museum and at Columbia, Princeton, Yale, Brown, and New York Universities.

Presented in conjunction with Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912 and as part of Smithsonian Solstice Saturday.
Location: Sackler, pavilion (ground level)
No tickets required; seating is first come, first served.

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Photo courtesy of Oriental Operatic Artists Association.

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