Farewell My Concubine

2015-10-27

farewell my concubine

The interesting thing about Peking opera is the way in which it contains the same elements as Western opera - staging, music, choreography, costume, plot, melodrama - but produces something that is difficult to compare in terms of those elements. It has its own extensive set of conventions and appears to be highly formulaic. The music is percussive, there don't appear to be separate songs but different moments.

It declines to confound expectations. Since he ignores everyone's advice, we know from the outset that the King of Chu is doomed. Like Western opera, this gives it a slightly pornographic quality.

It ends very abruptly. The death is quick, and the King of Chu isn't given any time to reflect on it. This is not an endemic expectation, but life goes on.

Farewell my Concubine was at Sadler's Wells on the 20th and 21st of November, 2015


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