(Talk with the audience after the performance on 27.3. )
A Yueju performance by Zhao Zhigang (Shanghai)
Première / production commissioned by the House of World Cultures
‘A man in a world full of women - a warm place for dishonest feelings.’ This is the fate of the hero in the famous historical novel Dream of the Red Chamber; it is also the fate of Zhao Zhigang. The stage star, who is popular throughout China (and known in Europe for the major role he played in König der Masken) is the only man who masters all five voice categories of the Shanghai Yue Opera, which is traditionally performed by women only. The artist’s dream of choosing his own identity in art and real life is made the theme of a dialogue between the artist and the famous roles he has performed. Poetry, music, art and improvisation merge to form a narration rich in imagery, which explicitly presents the break with tradition in dramatic form. The step taken by Bao Yus (the protagonist in the novel) to retreat and become a monk symbolises Zhao Hzigang’s emancipation from the constraints of a form of theatre that has moulded him but whose boundaries he has reached.
The performance will be accompanied by soloists playing traditional instruments in the Yueju style and by the orchestra of the Shanghai Theatre Academy.