Chinese Opera: Images and Stories by Peter LovrickChinese Opera: Images and Stories by Peter Lovrick

Chinese Opera: Images and Stories

byPeter Lovrick, Wang-Ngai Siu

Hardcover | February 12, 1997

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Chinese Opera looks at Chinese society through an excitingseries of photographs of operatic performances from many regions of thecountry. The book introduces the reader to this unique theatrical formand tells the traditional stories that are its narrative foundation.Siu Wang-Ngai's extraordinary images, taken in natural light duringperformances, lovingly reveal the visual excitement of Chinese operaand point to the differences in costuming and presentation thatdistinguish each regional style and character type.

Through Peter Lovrick's engaging text, Chinese Operaprovides a brief anecdotal history of the development of Chinese operaand introduces a language of theatrical convention entirely new to theWesterner. It also identifies the hallmarks of the dozen or so regionalopera styles found in this collection. As well, the book arranges thestories in a rough chain of being, from heaven, through the wholesocial structure on earth from emperor to outlaw, to ghosts in thenether world, offering a revealing view of Chinese social tradition andexperience. Chinese opera has a rich repertoire drawn from history,legends, folk tales, and classic novels.

Chinese Opera opens a door onto the wealth of Chinesetraditional drama in a way that will interest drama aficionados,admirers of theatrical photography, students of Chinese drama, thoseinterested in the culture of China, and everyone who enjoys a livelystory. Siu Wang-Ngai's photographic record of opera performancesmakes these stories come alive.

Siu Wang-Ngai is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britian and Chair of the Federation of Hong Kong-Macau Photographic Association. He lives in Hong Kong, where he practices law. Peter Lovrick has taught the History of Performing Arts in China at the University of Toronto's East Asian Studies department for the...
Title:Chinese Opera: Images and StoriesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:250 pages, 10.17 × 10.41 × 1.01 inPublished:February 12, 1997Publisher:Ubc Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774805927

ISBN - 13:9780774805926

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Table of Contents


1. The Dramatic Tradition

2. China's Regional Operas

3. Conventions

4. Heavenly Beings

5. Emperors And Their Ladies

6. Generals And Warriors

7. Scholars And Officials

8. Wealthy Families

9. Common Folk: Those Who Are Ruled

10. Religious

11. Outlaws

12. Ghosts

13. A Final Word



A. English Guide to Photographs

B. Chinese Guide To Photgraphs Selected Bibliography Index

From Our Editors

Chinese opera is a blend of song, speech, mime, dance and acrobatics held together by a language of theatrical conventions entirely new to the Westerner. Chinese Opera: Images and Stories introduces the reader to this unique theatrical form through a series of brilliant photographs by Siu Wang-Ngai. The plays are organized in groups to give an idea of the Chinese 'chain of being' or social structure – from heavenly beings to emperors, common folk to ghosts, and each section has a short preface which provides important insights into traditional Chinese society.

Editorial Reviews

The photographs ... are extraordinary theatrical records by any standards.... Siu has managed to capture the drama, colour and humanity of this theatre form. ... a remarkable book on Chinese opera... as well as being interesting to the converted, will also be an invaluable aide to newcomers to the theatre form ... laudably-straightforward language. - The Review (Hong Kong), Sept. 6, 1997