Acclaimed Chinese Opera Company Performs in Scranton


The University of Scranton will present a rare U.S. performance of “Bond,” an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” on Friday, April 15, at 7:30 p.m. The performance by the internationally acclaimed Taiwan BangZi Opera Company will be held at the Scranton Cultural Center and is free of charge.

Bangzi, a traditional operatic theater with more than 50 years of history, is innovative in theme, exquisite in music, and elegant in acting styles. “Bond” will feature 40 performers and a live orchestra.

The renowned opera company has performed on stage at King’s College in London, at the Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as in Italy, France, Germany, Hong Kong and several Asian countries. In addition to their performance in Scranton, their tour in the United States will include just three other performance venues: at the annual conference of Shakespeare Association of America in Seattle, Wash.; at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

“Bond” retains the story line of “The Merchant of Venice,” but transports it to a medieval Chinese city. Exploring the two-edged meaning of “bond” – protection and restriction – the play delves into such issues as race, law, justice, friendship, love, gender and, most of all, the deeply rooted Chinese value of marital fidelity. The performance provides a modern Asian perspective on these important issues.

The tour is being brought to Scranton by the Asian Studies Program at The University of Scranton and has been made possible by generous grants from the Taiwanese government and the assistance from the Taipei Cultural Center of Taiwan Embassy (also known as Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, TECO) in New York. Additional support has been given by a Diversity Initiative Grant awarded by the Office of Equity and Diversity, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office, Student Affairs, Art and Music Program, Hope Horn Gallery, and the Office of Public Relations at The University of Scranton, the Scranton Hilton and Conference Center, Osaka Restaurant and other sponsors. WNEP is the media partner for the event.

Although offered free of charge, seating is limited and reservations are required to attend. Call (570) 941-4094 to reserve tickets.

For more information about the Asian Studies Program at The University of Scranton, contact Ann Pang-White, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Philosophy Department and director of the Asian Studies Concentration at Scranton, at (570) 941-6312 or

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