The treasure of Peking Opera has to be passed on to the next generation and inherited.”
Ma, one of the leading actors in the show, is 75 and has won numerous awards for his performance skills in China. He was also awarded a “lifetime achievement medal” in 2006 at New York’s Lincoln Center. The show was also dedicated to the 66th anniversary of his personal Peking Opera career.
While a large proportion of the audience were grayhaired Chinese Americans who are in love with this traditional opera and familiar with almost every detail of this classic show, there were also young Americans, attracted to Chinese culture and theatrical arts.
“It’s fun to hear the audience get excited,” said 22-year-old American student Elijah, who interned at a local Chinese theatrical workshop in the summer. “I really enjoyed it.”
Elijah said that he didn’t know the story beforehand, but especially liked the scenes with Zhuge Liang and Lu Su, the masterminds who play decisive roles in the battle.
“I think there’s a lot of great singing happening,” he said.
David Ho, an 80-yearold retired newspaper editor, has dedicated a lot of time to translating Peking Opera scripts into English.
“The treasure of Peking Opera has to be passed on to the next generation and inherited. I wish one day it could be staged in Broadway theaters, letting the world see the way Chinese people perform their drama,” said Ho.
The show was the highlight of the 12th Winter Cultural Exchange Festival of the New York Chinese Opera Society, a nonprofit organization committed to preserving and promoting the art form.