Living Tradition Beijing Opera Comes To Wake Forest

There aren't many things that stay the same for over two hundred years, but Beijing Opera is one of them. While this could conjure a notion of something static and immobile, nothing could be further from the truth. A living, athletic tradition drawing upon a dizzying array of disciplines, the form is unlike anything else in the world. In the spring of 2020, Beijing Opera performers from The Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at Binghamton University worked with Wake Forest students and performed on campus for an enthusiastic audience. Sponsored by IPLACe, this was a vivid introduction to an incredible art form and offered a kind of magical time capsule of an earlier era springing to life in the present.

I really enjoyed the interactivity of the workshop and learning the intricacies of why actors move or sing the way they do.

-Eric Omorogieva (‘21), Politics & International Affairs major, African Studies/Chinese Language minor

Beijing Opera provides a fabulous opportunity for students to consider different methods of telling a story—in this case through song, acrobatics, movement, and makeup.

-Elizabeth Clendinning, Assistant Professor of Music

Beijing Opera is considered the national essence of China, and the amazing part is that the performances that people witness today are virtually the same as those viewed by Chinese 200 years ago.

-Lu Lu, Assistant Teaching Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures

See the Beijing Opera performers in action:

Images from the Beijing Opera workshop and performance at Wake Forest University. © Ken Bennett

Click here to learn more about this incredible artform.