Kunqu Opera prince to bid farewell to stage after Shanghai performances
Kunqu Opera prince Zhang Jun will perform "Blossoms on a Spring Moonlit Night" for Shanghai audience next month before bidding farewell to the stage for a while.
The two performances will take place at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center on April 7 and 8. Zhang, 48, will then return to his position as headmaster of the Shanghai Opera School.
"Blossoms on a Spring Moonlit Night" premiered in Shanghai in 2015. The story is based on a 1,300-year-old Tang Dynasty poem and is about a pair of star-crossed lovers who travel through the worlds of men, ghosts, and deities. It captures the romance and elegance of Kunqu opera while introducing contemporary aesthetics.
Zhang Jun has played the lead role for eight years. He will perform alongside opera artists Li Hongliang and Guan Dongtian in this round.
Zhang Jun grew up in Shanghai. He was the only boy chosen from 2,000 applicants by the Shanghai Traditional Opera School to learn the traditional Kunqu Opera at the age of 12. He trained intensively for eight years.
In addition to performing, he has revitalized and promoted the age-old art form among a younger generation. In 2011, he received the UNESCO Artist for Peace award for his efforts to promote intangible cultural heritage, particularly Kunqu Opera.
"On the one hand, I want to show the audience my best form. However, I don't have enough time to make thorough preparations," Zhang said.
"I believe it is time for me to adjust and devote more time to my students," he said about his decision to take a break from the stage.
Date: April 7-8, 7:15pm
Tickets: 80-680 yuan
Venue: Shanghai Oriental Art Center 上海东方艺术中心
Address: 425 Dingxiang Rd, the Pudong New Area 丁香路425号