Boston Beijing Opera Association

Boston Beijing Opera Association Logo
Last night we attended the debut performance of the Boston Beijing Opera Association. We learned about this concert from a co-worker and friend of mine GUO Jingfu, or as he is known at work, Jeff Guo. Jeff is a very accomplished Jing erhu musician. The erhu is an ancient and traditional two stringed bowed instrument. It is similar to a violin, but played vertically and with the hand tensioned bow threaded between the strings. Jeff and several other traditional musicians accompanied a plethora of performers all singing in the unique style of Beijing Opera. This special opera was created about two hundred years ago and ascribed to specific forms created for the opera. Best to go here to get a more authoritative and expert summary.

The entire performance was in Chinese and the MC also spoke in Chinese. We were still able to enjoy the universal communication of melody and tone and appreciated the specific style of this art form. Rather than a specific single story, the BBOA chose to debut their organization through a variety show, featuring a dulcimer ensemble, solos, choruses, dance and instrumental pieces. We were also treated to two traditional costumed performances.

Attending this performance opened the window a little wider into a culture as a whole I think we know little about. Since I work closely with a team in China, I am always looking for ways to gain insight into this emerging culture. This years olympics gave us a more open look into the Chinese culture that I think many have never been exposed to. It is always far to easy to slip into accepting the stereotypical representations that we have seen most of our lives. Going deeper and interacting with native Chinese citizens as well as fellow workers has given me insight into the depth and pride of the Chinese people. I have also learned that they have a very joyful outlook on life and enjoy a lightness of heart one would not expect from outward appearances. This was displayed last night in the excitement of the performers as well as the audience. It was a great moment for the Chinese American community to share an intimate part of their culture with their local community.
BBOA Ensemble

Kung Hei Fat Choy

Kung Hei Fat Choy
(Click the image to play)

I just got this greeting from Naxos and I wanted to share it with you. There is a free download of the song too! Naxos also has a great podcast if you want to learn more about classical music. Their goal is to record and distribute, at a reasonable price as many classical works as possible. Only a very tiny percentage of all the classical music written has actually been recorded. I think this is a very worthy goal.

This is the year of the Earth Rat. May your Rat be healthy and prosperous!

Happy Chinese New Year!
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