University-hosted Chinese Opera Events Are a Hit in Community

04/29/11

An audience of nearly 1,800 filled the Scranton Cultural Center for a rare U.S. performance from the world-renown BangZi Opera Company, presented by The University of Scranton in April. A live orchestra accompanied 40 cast members in a free performance of “Bond,” an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice.” Scranton joined just three additional locations for the company’s U.S. tour, including the conference of Shakespeare Association of America in Seattle, Wash.; the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

The Taiwan BangZi Opera Company also performed a Carnival of Chinese Opera at The University of Scranton for more than 250 students from area elementary, middle and high schools. Students from Mountain View, Lackawanna Trail, Lakeland, Abington Heights, Prescott Elementary and St. Stanislaus enjoyed a series of brief performances by members of the opera cast, who were clad in vivid performance costumes with elaborately painted faces. Students also participated in hands-on demonstrations of body and hand movements, face painting and martial arts.

A video of the full performance of the Carnival of the Chinese Opera can be viewed on the University’s YouTube channel.

The tour was 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 in collaboration with the Asian Studies concentration at The University of Scranton. Additional support was provided by a Diversity Initiative Grant awarded by the Office of Equity and Diversity, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Provost’s Office, Hope Horn Gallery, Art and Music Program, Student Affairs and the Office of Public Relations at The University of Scranton, the Scranton Hilton and Conference Center, Osaka Restaurant, Johnson Controls and other sponsors. WNEP served as the media partner for the event.

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