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10 Chinese-English Peking opera classics released in Beijing

(People's Daily Online)    16:49, December 28, 2016
10 Chinese-English Peking opera classics released in Beijing
"Silang Visits His Mother" (Chinanews.com/Zhang Daozheng)

Ten bilingual Chinese-English editions of Jingju (Peking opera) classics were released in Beijing on Dec. 27.

As a quintessential part of Chinese culture, Peking opera contains rich meaning. It's difficult to express the lyrics and verses in other languages, which remains a key impediment for foreigners trying to understand and enjoy the art form.

Zhou Yude, former president of the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, explained that in the 1950s, Peking opera performers often chose works with fewer lyrics to help foreigners understand the content. However, there was concern that foreigners might think Peking opera was similar to vaudeville.

The new release is the second volume of a series of translated Peking opera classics. The project, jointly launched by Renmin University of China, Beijing Foreign Studies University and the University of Hawaii in the U.S., plans to publish 100 classics in 10 total volumes. The first volume was released in 2012.

The classics include: "Beating the Drum and Cursing Prime Minister Cao," "Silang Visits His Mother," "A Battle at Dingjun Mountain," "Reconciliation between Minister and General," "Three Judges Try the Case," "Reunion at Wujia Slope," "Wu Zixu's Predicament at Wenzhao Pass," "Defending the Country, Visiting the Imperial Tomb, and Entering the Imperial Palace Again," "Beating the Dragon Robe" and "Bao Zheng's Persuasion in Chisang Town."

Sun Ping, chief editor of the series and director of the Chinese Operas Studies Center at Renmin University of China, explained that adjustments have been made to the second volume when it comes to content layout. The books include bilingual Chinese-English scripts, supplemental guidance, music, pictures and other relevant knowledge, making it easier for readers to understand the full meaning of the works.

The first volume has been collected by renowned libraries and universities around the world, including Nixon Library and Chapman University in the U.S. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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