Sharing Chinese Culture
Perspectives from Peking Opera
Jan. 29, 2019
Ms. Ping Yang’s session in THE SYNK with Peking Opera Master Wenliang Ma was a window into a culture that many students in the United States never see. From across the world and across generations, ancient traditions were proudly displayed in costume, music, and acrobatics.
Mr. Wenliang Ma is a very well-known Peking Opera master in China. He was trained and graduated from a traditional Peking Opera school in the late 1930s, and started performing Peking Opera on stage when he was only seven years old. He is seventy-five years old this year.
Hours of preparation to present to our students included makeup and costumes. The girl shown above is 10 years old.
The youngest performer was 4 years old.
Another young performer started with a dramatic rural scene and then impressive acrobatics.
Master Ma’s students included a group of women who were teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professions. The sincere immersion into their singing could be seen on every face. One of our STEM students commented “Awesome! This is possibly the coolest yet.”
Here is a peak at the orchestra. The history of the music and instruments date back thousands of years.
Perhaps the greatest gift is that a language class now has a path to discovery, insight, and curiosity for the Chinese culture. Beyond phonetics, the above students have had an experience that will guide their learning and understanding of others.
Thank you Ms. Yang for bring us closer to our friends in China. We are so grateful for Master Ma and the Chinese people who gave their time to our students.