Jingju / Beijing Opera / Peking Opera 京剧



The opera “Silang Tan Mu” we posted here with Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu over 3 years ago has been generously translated by Nikhi Chau and posted on Youtube for your enjoyment:

Part 1: http://youtu.be/65PPa1eqjK0
Part 2: http://youtu.be/X8hBlVF9wBU

Thank you Nikhi!

Reminder: the Firefox add-on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/video-downloadhelper/

will allow you to download these videos.




Qin Ying


Mentioned by Fern on her “download it yourself” web page here, this very well recorded opera stands out among the many recent videos viewed.

Recorded on 2014-01-06 at the Chang’an Grand Theater in Beijing, it features Zhan Lei 詹磊, Zheng Xiao 郑潇, Zhang Kai 张凯, Shen Wenli 沈文莉, Zhang Yun 张云, and Peng Xiaoliang 彭晓亮.

A search on this web site helped me remember we saw Zheng Xiao briefly before here, and that she is a Mei school actress.

The story, borrowed in part from here, and most fortunately filled in by Fern is as follows:

In the first half of the opera, Zhan Lei plays the brave soldier in white kao, called Luo Tong 罗通, who finally gets killed by enemy soldier Wang Bochao 王伯超 ( in the “large derrière” checkered costume). During the Tang dynasty enemies from the North, lead by general Su Baotong 苏宝童 (black kao) invade China. Li Shimin (played by Zhang Kai) orders Qin Huaiyu 秦怀玉 (Qin Qiong’s son) to launch a military campaign, and Luo Tong and his father Luo Zhang are the vanguard party. They reach the Jiepai Pass and there’s a big battle, Su gets wounded. Wang Bochao fights Luo Tong, and finally manages to badly wound him in the gut. Luo Tong wraps his intestines around his waist and fights to the last. (Here’s that same scene played by Zhan Lei: http://megapoxy.net/wordpress/?p=6686).

In the second half of the opera, called “Jinshuiqiao” or the Golden Water Bridge, Qin Huaiyu’s son, Qin Ying (played by the actor in red face) , is fishing at the Golden Water Bridge, when a local despot called Zhan arrives on the scene and makes so much noise that all the fish are frightened away. Instead of offering an apology to Qin Ying, the depot Zhan chides him for being in his way. The young man, in a fit of anger, strikes him with a rod, unintentionally killing him. Because the despot happens to be the emperor’s father-in-law, Qin Ying’s mother, Princess Yinping, trusses up her son and takes him to the palace to be punished. The Emperor wants to behead Qin Ying (because his concubine happens to be the daughter of the murdered Zhan), but the empress and their eldest grandson intercede on Qin Ying’s behalf, and the case is settled with Princess Yinping making an apology  and finally the concubine also forgives him. Qin Ying is sent to the front to help his father in  battle (from here in the video Qin Ying is played by Zhan Lei). He conquers the enemy general and returns triumphant.
Thank you Fern!

The original file names were:

《CCTV空中剧院》 20140326 京剧《秦英征西》 1/2
《CCTV空中剧院》 20140326 京剧《秦英征西》 2/2

Click here to download Part 1 of the video  (464 MB)

Click here to download Part 2 of the video  (472 MB)



More nice PDFs !

Surface Design in Jingju costumes: The Aesthetics and Meanings of Embroidered Imagery in the Beijing Opera” by Alexandra Bonds, the author of the Beijing Opera Costume book here.

And another article by the same author, “Beijing Opera Costumes” here.


Referred to here is the 1937 book “Secrets of the Chinese Drama” by Cecilia Zung, which contains synopses for 50 Beijing Opera plays.

I found the book, now in the public domain, online at archive.org here.

Click here to download the PDF

Pekling opera

The hasty wrap up to this handsome documentary. There is some CCTV filler at the end of the video, actually I sort of liked those extras as well. I’m the kind of person who enjoys previews when I go to the movies.

Here’s looking forward to Part 9! I’m willing to wait.

Click here to download the video

Peking Opera

This episode is titled “Life on Tour”.

Click here to download video

Peking Opera

This episode is called “Women on Stage”.

Highlight for me was the segment on stilt walking.

Click here to download the video


Peking Opera

Click here to download the video from our mirror



Peking Opera Part 4

Click  here to download the video

This episode focuses on Mei Lanfang and Cheng Yanqiu.


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