A Glimpse of Chinese Opera

Chinese opera enjoys a long history and incorporates literature, music, dance and visual art in performance. New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) is a non-profit performance art organization founded in 2006. Located in lower Manhattan, its mission is to promote the prosperity of Chinese opera in the United States. A variety of activities including performances, Chinese culture lectures, Chinese opera class, Chinese calligraphy class etc are offered by NYCOS for people interested in China’s traditional culture.

On Nov. 5, NYCOS performed “Su San’s Story” at the Schimmel Center of Pace University. Previously, performers rehearsed on weekends in Flushing.

“Su San’s Story” is a romance story in ancient China. Wang Jinlong, son of Minister of Rites, and Su San, a renowned courtesan fell in love with each other the first time they met. After squandering all his money, Wang was evicted out of the brothel by the evil Madam. With the help of a flower vendor, Jinge, Su San secretly met Wang in a deserted temple. She left him some money for him to return to Wang’s home in Nanking. Since then Su San decided that she would never entertain any other guest of the brothel. But the Madam tricked her into being sold as a concubine to a rich Shanxi merchant called  Shen Yanlin. Shen’s wife, Pi was having an affair with Zhao Jiansheng.  She poisoned Shen to death by accident and therefore accused Su San as the murderer. As the judge was bribed by Zhao and Pi beforehand, Su was sentenced to death. En route to the retrial, Su San confided that she was framed to the escort Chong Gongdao. Upon arrival at the Taiyuan court, she discovered the judge happened to be her love, Wang. To avoid doubts of injustice ruling, Wang pretended he didn’t recognize Su San at first. But the lovers’ story was found out by the juries, Pan Bizheng and Liu Bingyi. Eventually, Su San was vindicated by Wang and the two reunited and got married.

 

 

 

 

 

  • This photo story is awarded the 3rd prize in the photo competition held by NYU China House.
  • The photos are featured in NYU China House’s first photo exhibition from April 13 to the end of May.

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