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CCU presents Beijing opera performance, workshop

November 7, 2023
CCU presents "Song of Silk,"a Beijing opera and Chinese music concert, on Nov. 10.

Coastal Carolina University presents “Song of Silk,” a Beijing opera and Chinese music concert, on Friday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. in Wheelwright Auditorium. The event is a first-time live concert of traditional Chinese music at CCU. The performance is a collaboration of Beijing opera excerpts that use Chinese instrumental and vocal music to create an immersive arts experience. Tickets are $18, with CCU discounts available.

Guest performers include Chinese artists and faculty from Binghamton University in New York; the National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts in Beijing; and Alfred University in New York. Beijing opera, the best known of the more than 300 types of traditional Chinese opera, includes elaborate costumes and stage makeup, acrobatic stage movements, and symbolic, stylized content. The event is sponsored by CCU’s Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Intercultural Language Resource Center (ILRC), and Center for Global Engagement.

In addition to the performance, soprano Hong Zhang and Beijing opera performer Linghui Tu will hold a workshop titled “Chinese Ethnic Songs & the Art of Beijing Opera” on Thursday, Nov. 9, at 4:30 p.m. in the Edwards Recital Hall. The workshop is free and open to the public.

Shengsheng Zhou, lecturer of Chinese, and Xinyi Tan, associate professor of Chinese and French and director of the ILRC, both CCU faculty members in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, led the organization of these events, which have also involved faculty members in the Department of Theatre and the Department of Music.

The performance features four artists – two vocalists and two musicians – who will sing and play traditional Chinese instruments including a pipa, a stringed instrument also known as the Chinese lute; and a Chinese bamboo flute.

Tan said these events are multidisciplinary and offer an opportunity for attendees to gather for a unique experience.

“It takes a lot of collaboration and hard work from different organizations on campus to create an event like this,” said Tan. “I’m very grateful for the support and collaboration, especially from the Edwards College, ILRC, and Center for Global Engagement. I envision it to be another platform where the community meets academia.”

CCU’s Chinese program within the Edwards College has experienced heightened interest during the past several years. Tan and Zhou teach and mentor nearly 100 students through Chinese language classes, a minor in Chinese, and a minor in Asian studies.