This course will focus on the historical and cultural background, literary aesthetics, music, and performance of Kunqu, China’s classical opera. After viewing the lecture videos presented by scholars and renowned maestros in the field of Kunqu, students’ understanding and appreciation of Chinese performing arts, classical literature and traditional culture will be enhanced.
- Week 1 - An Introduction to the Beauty of Kunqu Opera
Welcome to The Beauty of Kunqu Opera! The following lecture videos will give you some ideas of the historical background and characteristics of Kunqu, China’s classical opera that originated more than 600 years ago and blossomed during the late Ming and early ...
- Week 2 - The Beauty of Kunqu Music
Kunqu means music/song (qu) that originated from the district of Kunshan, Jiangsu province. The word itself shows the fundamental role played by music in this Chinese classical opera. This week, Prof. Lindy Li Mark from the California State University, East Ba...
- Week 3 - The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Male Role-Types
Just like other genres of Chinese opera, Kunqu has a broad range of role-types, such as male (sheng), female (dan), painted face (jing) and comic (chou). From this week on, legendary performing artists who have devoted their whole lives to Kunqu will talk abou...
- Week 4 - The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Female Role-Type
The female role-type is another prominent role-type of Kunqu and can be divided into a number of subtypes. In this week lively lectures and demonstration by Maestros Zhang Jingxian (mature female), Zhang Jiqing (young noble lady), Liang Guyin (vivacious young ...
- Week 5 - The Art of Kunqu Performance: Integration of the Painted Face and Warrior Role-Types
The colorful and complex facial makeup of the painted face role-type is probably the most noticeable feature in the eyes of the audience. But what does facial makeup mean and how is it done? This week, Maestro Hou Shaokui will unfold the mysteries for us. He w...
- Week 6 - The Art of Kunqu Performance: the Comic Role-Type
When appreciating the well written script and the beautiful melody of Kunqu, sometimes audiences just want a good laugh in the theatre. This cannot be done without the contribution of the comic role-type. This week, Maestro Zhang Mingrong will explain the char...
- Week 7 - The New Aesthetics of Kunqu: Tradition and Modernity
Drawing examples from the production of The Peony Pavilion (Young Lover’s Edition) and The Jade Hairpin (New Edition), Prof. Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai will illustrate how Kunqu today can attract the younger generation by adding modern elements in stagecraft while...
Prof. Wei Hua 華瑋
Professor and Division Head
Department of Chinese Language and Literature
Prof. Kenneth Hsien-yung Pai 白先勇
Wei Lun Professor of Humanities
Faculty of Arts
Prof. Lindy Li Mark 李林德