Kun opera, also called Kunju or Kunqu (昆曲，昆剧), is one of the most ancient opera styles in China. Originating from the Kun mountain region in China during the end of the Yuan dynasty, it synthesizes drama, opera, ballet, poetry and music recital, as well as elements from earlier Chinese theater such as mime, farce, acrobatics, ballad recitals, and medleys. The orchestra is most commonly led by the flute, which plays the melody, accompanied by traditional Chinese instruments such as San-hsian (a three-stringed lute), erhu (a two-stringed fiddle), zheng (a bamboo wind organ or Pan's pipe), zither, Chinese xiqu drum, ban (wooden clappers), xiaoluo (small gong), daluo (big gong), and naobo (cymbals). Kun opera performances, belonging to a unique genre and style of opera, combine delicacy and harmony, reflecting the magnificence and richness of the Chinese culture.
As the art of Kun opera was being explained and shown to students by extraordinary performers, the auditorium filled with applause. Not only was the performance enjoyable, but it was also educational. Scenes showed famous historical personalities of China, such as Zhang Fei, Cao Cao, Guan Yu, and also fictional characters from Chinese literature, like the monkey king Sun Wukong and the demon Bai Gu Jing.
Additionally, it allowed students to further understand Kun opera through audience interaction activities which demonstrated the importance of backstage preparations make up and costumes.
We as a school community address our thanks to all actors, music performers and backstage contributors, without forgetting the great presenter, who, with humor and enthusiasm, led us into the world of Kun opera, himself an experienced Kun opera performer.
Efje Boulnois 9U