China Federation of Literary and Art Circles

Let the Opera Walk on the Vast Land of Russia

2019-05-09 11:09:00

Let the Opera Walk on the Vast Land of Russia 
——2018 "China Today" Art Week unveils in Russia


Opening ceremony of the "China Today" Art Week, both sides of China and Russia jointly plant the tree of friendship.


Debut of Huang mei Opera Tianxian Pei


Afterthe perfornane, the audiences take photos with the performers.


Debut of Huangmei Opera Tianxian Pei


Debut of Huangmei Opera Tianxian Pei


Citizens of Krasnodar visit the "Photography China 40 Years" exhibition


After the performance, the audiences take photos with the performers.

At the end of October and the beginning of November, Russia's vast land has been saturated with a strong feeling of autumn. The golden leaves covered all corners of the countryside, dotting streets and alleys of the city. This beautiful scenery, just like the famous contemporary Russian writer K. Paustovsky said in the essay collection "Golden Rose", "Fallen leaves will cover the lonely water. The birch forest is like beautiful girls, embroidered with golden leaves as scarf, standing there slimly and silently." In such a beautiful golden autumn season, on the occasion of the 2018 China-Russia Year of Local Cooperation and Exchange, the CFLAC has sent a troupe to Russia to hold 2018 "China Today" Art Week at the invitation of the Krasnodar State Cultural Institute of the Russian Frontier Region and the Moscow Chinese Cultural Center. The event was held in Krasnodar and Moscow respectively, including a full-length performance of Tianxian Pei, an opera highlights of Huangmei Opera, a "Photography China 40 Years" exhibition and "113 Years of Chinese Film" photo exhibition and etc.

The first stop of the art week has chosen Krasnodar, an important town in southern Russia. This quiet city is not well known in China, as she is located on the shore of the Black Sea by the banks of the Kuban River, the capital of the Krasnodar Territory. Although the city has a population of less than one million, there are more than 40 theaters, 11 cinemas, 38 exhibition halls and museums. The public's passion for art is so evident that on the Red street running through the city, sculptures, fountains and monuments echo each other. Both sides of the street are also full of galleries, bookstores and various art shops. The whole long street is like a piece of happy flowing music, even strolling pedestrians on the street seem to have become the amazing notes. Located on the most prosperous street in the city, the music theatre will present the Tianxian Pei of Huangmei Opera. Just above this simple and elegant building, the large-scale poster of the Chinese Huangmei Opera classic Tianxian Pei printed with Chinese and Russian characters has been attracting the attention of passers-by for many days recently. According to reports, the tickets for the show were sold out within few days. The people here are looking forward to the arrival of Chinese artists every day.

The day for the official show of Tianxian Pei has finally come. On October 31st, the north wind is blowing along the red streets in the evening, as if the light of the street lights seems to be frozen, unable to penetrate the fallen leaves. However, the coldness can't stop people who are keen in art. Thousands of local audiences still walk into the 85-year-old music theater in the cold wind.

In that special evening, as an important part of the 2018 "China Today" Art Week, the Tianxian Pei, which is well-known in China, will be staged by the artists of Anhui Huangmei Opera Theatre for the first time in Krasnodar. Among them, the related events concerning 2018 "China Today" Art Week in Krasnodar are organized by the CFLAC and Krasnodar State Cultural Institute, and presented by China Photographers Association, China Film Museum, Anhui Huangmei Opera Theatre, RAKURS (Beijing) Movie & Television Culture Communication Company Ltd., and the Krasnodar Musical Theatre---the Krasnodar Creative Consortium, marking the first large-scale Chinese art troupe for this quiet city. LI Qianguang, Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the CFLAC, ZHENG Gengsheng, vice-President of China Photographers Association, LIAO Ken, director of the Chinese Literature and Art Volunteer Service Center and vice-chairman and secretary-general of the Chinese Literature and Art Volunteers Association, Galina Aleksandrovna Moskaleva, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Krasnodar Territory, Maxim Mikhailovich Usatyuk, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Frontier Region, Sergey Semenovich Zengin, Dean of the National Institute of Culture of Krasnodar University and others have attended the opening ceremony of the evening.

In his speech, LI Qianguang said that China and Russia are two great countries. We not only have a long history and great civilization, but also are good neighbors connected by mountains and rivers, good friends who are looking forward to helping each other, and good partners with sincere cooperation. The closeness of the two peoples is not just because of geographical proximity. In recent years, ChinaRussia local cooperation has flourished, and literature and art are an important link to communicate the hearts and emotions of people of all countries. He hoped that the Russian people would further understand the charm of Chinese culture and enhance the friendship and understanding between the Chinese and Russian people through the original Chinese art brought by Chinese high-level artists.

In order to make Tianxian Pei more suitable for the appreciation habits of Russian audiences, the Huangmei Opera Theatre of Anhui Province has adapted this drama one year ahead of schedule, not only streamlining the performance time, but also adjusting the lines and soundtracks. Prior to the starting of the show, even though the long-distance flight, which had just passed more than 20 hours, two transits and a total flight of more than 10,000 kilometers, the artists were in the first place to prepare for the performance right after getting off the plane. The hard work shall always pay off handsomely. On the stage of the evening, the artists' singing voices are beautiful, the performances are superficial, together with the exquisite and elegant costumes and dances. More than 1,000 local Spectators were deeply impressed by the charm of Chinese traditional art. Many viewers shed tears for the love of DONG Yong and the Seven Fairies, and the performance was a great success. Although the performance has ended, a large number of spectators were still at the theater for a long time in order to take pictures with the Chinese artists who have not yet removed makeup, and learn more about the Tianxian Pei and the Chinese opera. A spectator is a public official working in the Ministry of Economic Statistics of the Frontier Region. She said that Krasnodar has always had a tradition of loving art. She usually likes to watch drama, this time she can watch the show full of oriental charm in her city, which is such a rare opportunity. After watching the performance of the day, I think that the Chinese opera art is more natural and the exaggeration is very rare compared to the Western drama. Although the plot of the play comes from ancient Chinese legend, with the help of Russian subtitles, it is not too difficult to understand. The reporter also learned that in order to meet the appreciation needs of more Russian audiences who did not have the opportunity to visit the scene, Krasnodar's Kuban-24 TV station also broadcast a fullfledged Huangmei Opera movie Tianxian Pei with Russian subtitles after the performance. 

On that evening, when Tianxian Pei was staged in the music theater, the "Photography China 40 Years" exhibition hosted by the China Photographers Association was also held outside the theater's performance hall. A total of 80 photographs were exhibited in this exhibition, which were presented in a one-to-one correspondence. The Chinese images taken by foreign photographers in the early days of reform and opening up were juxtaposed with the current Chinese images taken by Chinese counterparts, employing Chinese, foreign, old and new perspectives, the multiple contrast techniques, such as image style, to clearly reflect the tremendous changes that have taken place in China since the reform and opening up 40 years ago. After five days of exhibition at the Krasnodar Music Theatre, the photo exhibition will continue for a month at the Krasnodar State Cultural Institute.

"Can you tell us about the difference between Chinese opera and the drama of other countries in the world?" "Chinese opera has a long history and has been independently developed before modern times. Later, after contact with dramas in various countries, Chinese opera has also been affected. However, the most notable stylized features of Chinese opera have not changed. This is something that must be noticed when studying and appreciating Chinese opera." On October 30th, some of the artists from Anhui Huangmei Opera Theater, including many Plum Performance Award winners, also came to the Krasnodar State Cultural Institute to have face-to-face exchanges with teachers and students. They not only demonstrated the classic singing works, such as The Female Prince Consort and Tianxian Pei, but also answered the questions of the teachers and students about Chinese opera. Elena is a young teacher of the school's drama department. She told reporters that although she has long known that Chinese opera is a very special form of drama, and she once learned about Chinese opera from the Internet and professional media, but this time, she watched the performance of Chinese opera by artists, and had a clearer understanding of the true form of the opera, which greatly stimulated her enthusiasm for continuing to care about Chinese opera in the future.

On November 1st, the "China Film 113 Years" photo exhibition hosted by the China Film Museum was held at the Krasnodar State Cultural Institute. 110 pieces of displaying panels in forms of Chinese traditional drawing axis mounted with Xuan paper and silk immediately attracted the attention of the audiences, the silk figure, floating pottery, clay sculpture, costumes and other physical exhibits full of Chinese traditional culture conveyed to the Russian audience about development of Chinese film in the past 113 years, it also immersed the audiences in the atmosphere of the original Chinese traditional culture.

Since November 3rd, the "China Today" Art Week series has come to Moscow, the capital of Russia after successfully completing the schedule in Krasnodar.

"Chinese artists are very rich in postures and expressions on the stage. What makes me even more surprised is that in the performance, their hands seem to be able to talk as the gestures and the plots are very ingenious. This kind of 'sign language' is very rare in Europe drama, and the Chinese opera is really amazing!" On the evening of November 3rd at the Moscow Chinese Cultural Center, local citizen Ina watched the opera highlights of the Huangmei Opera in the 2018 "China Today" Art Week. She said that Chinese operas have many different forms in addition to their external performances. The programs of the evening were only fragments of the whole work, but they also vividly reflected the unique charm of abundant oriental culture. She has already retired and has been preparing to travel to China next year. After watching the show tonight, it seemed that she has to add a content to her trip after arriving in China. "I know that Huangmei Opera is one of the local operas in China. There are still many dramas in the country. No matter where I go in China, I must go to the local theaters to enjoy the local operas!"

In the evening, the artists of the Huangmei Opera Theatre in Anhui Province, China have brought the selection of the LIU Hai and Fairy of Golden Toad, Full Moon, and The Couples Return Home, selection of Tianxian Pei, and Mansions and Room for Marriage, selection of The Female Prince Consort, Song of Wine, selection of Marriage of Little Qiao and other traditional repertoires, and the newly-made Huangmei minor drama Six-foot Lane. GONG Jiajia, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Russia and Director of the Moscow Chinese Cultural Center, and the heads of the relevant local institutions watched the performances. In addition to the citizens of Moscow who have a strong interest in Chinese traditional culture, there are many Chinese audiences who have studied and worked here. ZHANG Xingcheng, who has been in Moscow for 25 years for running business, made a special trip with his family to watch the show. He said that although he is a native of Shandong, he is very popular with artists and works of art from anywhere from the motherland, not to mention the classic arias that are wellknown in the country. His children are also very interested in the traditional culture of the motherland under the influence of the family environment. They often go online to find relevant content. I learned that the CFLAC has sent so many artists to Moscow with many excellent works. I registered online already, hoping to let the children experience the charm of the drama art of the motherland.

Even though the performance lasted until late at night, the artists who participated in the 2018 "China Today" Art Week were still working hard the next morning. They came to visit the building of the 6th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party on the outskirts of Moscow, MA Xianjun, deputy-director of the permanent exhibition hall gave a detailed introduction to the historical background, the progress of the conference and the significance of the convening of the Sixth National Congress of the Communist Party of China. HE Yun, the actor of "Little Qiao" in Marriage of Little Qiao, said that our happy life today is inseparable from the selfless dedication of the revolutionary ancestors. The Huangmei Opera Theatre deliberately regards today as a CPC activity day, and today's visit is actually a vivid class of party history. Through the understanding of the struggle history of the revolutionary ancestors, he has a deeper and clearer understanding of "remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind" proposed by CPC General Secretary XI Jinping. As a party member and artist, I always keep in mind that my mission is to continually dedicate more outstanding literary and artistic works to the people. That night, the "Photography China 40 Years" exhibition, which once sparked quite a heat in Krasnodar, also came to Moscow and continued in the Gaidarovets Culture Center.

On November 5th, artists from China also visited the Alexandrov Ensemble, which is famous all over the world and has performed in China for many times. The venue is a simple four-storey building located in a small street far from the downtown area. Across the road stood the statue of the founder and conductor Alexandre Alexandrov, where a bouquet of flowers was laid, embodying the ardent memory of this outstanding artist. Victor, the master actor and singer, who has been in the group for 65 years, gave a detailed introduction of the history to the artists from China. He also deeply remembered his unforgettable experience of visiting China with the group. He said that both China and Russia have a very similar tradition, excellent and classic, and widely recognized works of art often have a strong and distinct national style, with a very deep connection with the national folk culture. He encouraged the Chinese artists who participated in the event to learn from the masses in their own country and truly absorb the seeds of traditional art circulating among them into their own creations.