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Traditional Chinese Music >Historical Recording Collections> The Ultimate of Peking Opera(8CD)

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The Ultimate of Peking Opera(8CD)

Producer¡GWei Hai-ming
Artists¡G Wei Hai-ming


Director Mei Bao-jiu, successor to Mei Lan-fang.

Production personally supervised by Artistic

Musical Director/Zhang Yen-pei, renowned Peking Opera composer.

Jinghu (two string instrument) Master accompanist/Hsu Ching-chi

Performance Musicians/Mei Lan-fang Peking Opera Troupe

4 CDs (with music and vocals) + 4 CDs(solely with music) + introduction booklet

Tai Zhen Wai Zhuan/ The Legend of Yang Yu-huan (2 CD s - one with music and vocals, one solely with music)

This classical play is the story of Yang Yu-huan from when she first enters the palace to the end of her life at Maweipou. Upon death, her spirit is carried on to meet her lover - the Emperor Tang Ming Huang. The play portrays the changes in a woman's longing for her lover in a most genuine way. Mei rearranged and revised the original play and created a new singing technique. He also promoted the importance of the female role, elevating its position to a more reputable level. In the process Mei became one of the four most celebrated female role (Dan) performers in Peking Opera at that time.

Yu Tang Chun (2 CD s - one with music and vocals, one solely with music)

"Yu Tang Chun", one of the most famous Qing Yi (young female role) plays, is about a well-known prostitute, Su San, during the Ming Dynasty. On this CD we have selected the singing portion of "Yu Tang Chun" from Wei's performance. Commenting on Wei's performance Mei Bao-jiu said: "... her ability and flexibility in reaching high and low pitches is solidly adjusted and steadily formed in one breath. The tone is focused and widens broadly while the singing continues. Her full tonality creates a rich atmosphere for the audience."

Farewell My Concubine and Xi Shi (2 CD s - one with music and vocals, one solely with music)

"Farewell My Concubine", which has continuously attracted large audiences, is about a Chu Warlord defeated on the battlefield and trapped in a place called Kaisia. The warlord's favorite concubine, Yu Ji, accompanies him to the end, voluntarily performing a farewell dance before killing herself, releasing him from any further burden. Xi Shi was rearranged and composed by Mei Lan-fang based on the Kun Qiang play "Wan Sha Ji", which had already become well known for its variations in singing techniques. In 1992, Wei Hai-ming once again amazed audiences at an event where she was awarded "Outstanding Artist - Asia" by performing part of "Farewell My concubine".

Special collection of Chen Gong's verses from Zhuo Fang Cao.

The Heavenly Maid Showering Flowers and Beauty Defies Tyranny (2 CDs - one with music and vocals, one solely with music)

Zhao Yan-rong, the character in "Beauty Defies Tyranny", who bravely disfigured her face and disobeyed her father's orders was Mei Lan-fang's favorite character in his forty years of performing. Wei Hai-ming chose to perform this play along with "The drunken beauty" (Guifei zui jiu). This won her the Highest Honor for a Peking Opera Performance at the Plum Blossom Awards. As for "The Heavenly Maid Showering Flowers," Mei composed this play based on the Buddha Sutra Vimalakirti and then created the ribbon dance to further add to this imaginative play.

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