Dates:September 14-15, 2018
On September 14th, ZHU Qiang and WEI Haimin will launch their collaboration Qishuanghui - Complaint Letter Writing and Wujiapo. ZHU Qiang is a brilliant disciple of the Kunqu Opera performer Mr. CAI Zhengren and the MA School Peking Opera performer Mr. ZHANG Xuejin.
On September 15th, WEI Haimin, who will perform an excerpt from The Universal Pagoda - Xiuben in Beijing. This piece will be re-staged 20 years after the last performance. In the second half, Peking Opera performer ZHAO Baoxiu will appear in Lady General Mu Takes Command - Granted the Seal with WEI.
Stills from The Universal Pagoda - Xiuben, Lady General Mu Takes Command - Granted the Seal and Wujiapo (from left to right）
In 1991, WEI came from Taiwan to join the MEI School and became the first disciple of Mr. MEI Baojiu. In the presence of many Peking Opera maestros at a grand ceremony, WEI recalled, “I was amazed that so many well-known seniors, whom I had just seen in picture recording, they were standing in front me, and each were encouraging me amiably! I seemed to be a pupil that set foot in professors’ elite class in one step!”
In 1993, WEI made her debut in Beijing and gave a solo performance. Mr. MEI Baojiu invited Mr. JING Rongqing as a guest to perform Farewell to My Concubine with WEI. From then on, she set about binding herself to her teacher, and followed him for dozens of years. Although the frozen cross-strait relations improved in the 1990s, there were still many obstacles to overcome. WEI was still a member of a military troupe (Haiguang Peking Opera Troupe), so she was punished in public for learning Peking Opera in Beijing. However, due to her craving for the “MEI-school Opera art,” she refused all invitations for new programmes in Taiwan for a time, and applied herself to studying under Mr. MEI. She received unselfish help from her seniors and peers in the world of Peking Opera.
WEI had received guidance from many seniors with whom she performed together in the following 25 years, including some have passed away such as JING Rongqing, ZHANG Xuejin, MEI Baojiu and MA Changli. “Many of the seniors helped me a lot in my career. I was honoured to share a stage with them, absorbing nutrition from them, and being enlightened under their guidance. I have been inspired by that experience even for now.”
A still from Qishuanghui - Complaint Letter Writing (CAI Zhengren plays ZHAO Chong; WEI Haimin plays LI Guizhi)
Beside the Plum is a branded MEI-school Peking Opera series of WEI Haimin at classical theatre. Beside the Plum - Nine Odes, launched in 2017, is a collection of MEI School highlights in memory of WEI’s teacher, who has passed away. She gave two performances of Beside the Plum - Nine Odes at the NCPA Multi-functional Theatre, and all tickets were sold out in advance. Beside the Plum - Gratitude, as the name suggests, is a collection of four-act Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera highlights, expressing appreciation for all her seniors and peers for their help and encouragement during 25 years.
WEI is a highly-acclaimed skilled performer in traditional opera circles, honoured as “Peking Opera actress with various roles.” She has created a great many opera highlights, with characters ranging from ancient to modern, Chinese to foreign ones, such as Cleopatra, CAO Qiqiao, WANG Xifeng and MENG Xiaodong. While her creation is not limited to either at the school or the profession, she always performs the traditional opera on principle and adheres to the MEI School’s elegant performing style. She sings, speaks and acts canonically and exquisitely, and focuses on characterization, trying to “vividly present the MEI School’s stylized performance on the stage through true-to-life characters.”
Peking Opera Performer
Kunqu Opera Performer
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