A Journey to the West with Peking Opera

28 November 2019

Oxford High School was immensely fortunate this week to welcome the Chinese National Peking Opera Company for an immersive workshop on the intriguing history and narrative traditions of Peking Opera.

Made possible by the incredible hard work of our Mandarin department, we were joined on Tuesday 26th November by one hundred teachers and students from schools all over Oxford, as well as the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University. Together, we were taken on a fascinating journey through one of China’s most treasured art forms.

Understanding Peking Opera commenced with a ninety-minute workshop on all the intricacies of Peking Opera. The workshop looked in detail at the music, instruments, singing, costuming, make-up, characters and martial arts to which these performers dedicate their lives and which make this wonderful Chinese traditional art form so rich and storied.

The workshop culminated in a performance by members of the Peking Opera of selected highlights from their repertoire, including Journey to the West (with its well-known story of Monkey King) and part of a Song Dynasty story-cycle. At the end of the performance, gifts were presented to our wonderful Mandarin teachers, Dr Liu, Ms Wang and Ms Dong, by both the Peking Opera and Mr Angus Phillips, Director of the Confucius Institute, in recognition of all their hard work in putting this event together. After such a magnificent experience, we must also join them in expressing our thanks.  

Our profound thanks to the Confucius Institute at Oxford Brookes University for sharing with us these fantastic photographs from the event.

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