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China's Red Operas (3)

25 May 2011

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Despite to this day no other contemporary Beijing Opera has surpassed the achievement of Jie Zhenguo, the remarkable progress in renewing this ancient performing art can be observed in all Model Operas - Red Lantern, Shajia Lake, Take Tiger Mountain by Strategy (智取威虎山), Shanghai Harbor (海港), Raid White Tiger Regiment (奇袭白虎团) - and especially in those emerged in the late years of the Cultural Revolution and during the period immediately after that era, that include Azalea Hill (杜鹃山), Rocky Bay (磐石湾), Butterfly Love (蝶恋花), Red Cloud Hill (红云岗), Red Women Detachment (红色娘子军), Battle on Plain (平原作战) and Dragon River (龙江颂).

Comparing to Jie Zhenguo, Azalea Hill, Rocky Bay and Butterfly Love take bolder steps in reforming the music with impressive success. The following are two arias from Azalea Hill and Butterfly Love.



Yang Chunxia (杨春霞) as guerrilla leader Ke Xiang (柯湘)

蝶恋花 - 古道别

Li Weikang (李维康) as Mao Zedong's first wife Yang Kaihui (杨开慧) who was killed by Nationalist Government for refusing to denounce her husband

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