New York Flushing Town Hall – Boost Chinese Culture to Move Towards the World

The 1st Believe in Art in New York – Chinese Opera Forum

Hello, everyone. This is Zhu Zhu. Now, I am at Flushing Town Hall, New York, America. It is 19:46 in New York. Today, I am going to lead you to a quite special cultural activity, the first Chinese Opera Forum in York over the years.

Chinese opera has a long history and changes continuously with historical environment. There is the opportunity to integrate Chinese and western cultures along with more and more immigrants to America and lots of challenges. Chinese Theatre Works, Chinese Oral and Performing Literature [CHINOPERL] and Flushing Town Hall jointly sponsored the Opera Forum in the series of Believe in Art, together with the opera and the academic field, to make efforts to promote Chinese culture.

Unprecedented cast on the stage, gathered giants on the forum

China Association of Literary and Art Study

It was established by famous American scholars, Pro. Yuen Ren Chao et al, in 1969 aiming at study, analysis and research on the traditions and meanings of art of singing performance as well as their relationship with Chinese culture and society. Every year, there is an annual conference in different states of America and Canada with the semiyearly, China Singing Literary and Art. Pro. Du Wenwei in Vassar College serves as the current president, who believes that the cooperation between the academic world and the performance world provides more people with further understanding of oral art. With the joint effort of experts and scholars from America, the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong, we are looking forward to more opera forums.

Professor Sun Dong

Confucius Institute for Business, State University of New York

It was jointly established by State University of New York and Nanjing University of Finance & Economics, which is the only Confucius institute for business in North America up to now. The institute integrates the learning of language culture within the knowledge framework of Chinese and global market to promote a unique business culture project. The current dean, Professor Sun Dong, is the doctor of opera of Nanjing University of Finance & Economics. Professor Sun Dong said: “though we are running the only Confucius institute for business in New York, it can be clearly indicated from the process of culture activities that entrepreneurs, politicians and financiers are passionate about Chinese culture and the influence of culture conservation on their fields is important. Gene of culture exists in everyone with indelible power.

Qi Shufang Peking Opera Troupe

It was established by Qi Shufang and Ding Meikui. Ms. Qi Shufang became a famous actress nationwide through playing the role of “Xiao Chang Bao” and the creative opera Red Phoenix. They established the first professional Peking Opera Troupe of America in New York. They were awarded of American National Heritage Award and went on the stage of the New Victory Theatre in Broadway. They are going to cooperate with Wuhan Peking Opera Theatre to launch an original Peking Opera, Bound Feet (the 11th Wenhua Award for New Operas), in New York. Mr. Ding Meikui said: “We are very glad to have this opportunity to develop our performing art with the invitation from professionals of academic field.”

New York Chinese Opera Society

It was established by Zhu Qike, Yu Wenhui, Cao Xiangsheng et al, devoting to promoting the development of Chinese culture and opera art and providing the mass with places to appreciate and experience the beauty of opera art. The chief of the Opera Society chronically cooperates with Confucius Institute, Pace University to invite famous actors at home and abroad to America for performance in their opera art festivals every year. According to the stories of Ruth and David in the Old Testament, they created two original Peking Operas. They also actively cultivate young students and establish the opera promotion work for youth groups entering the communities. Mr. Yu Wenhui who has focused on training talents of traditional operas after retirement said: “lots of Chinese intellectuals who are in New York for further study are passionate about traditional operas regardless of their majors in technology, medical science or design. We must take good use of this force rather than giving up.”

Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera at the State University of New York at Binghamton

It is the only institute that cooperates with National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing among a great number of Confucius institutes in America. Since 2010, there have been opera courses inside the institute. It also plays an important role in promoting Peking Opera all over America characterized by Peking Opera arts. The current dean of China, Tu Linghui, is the winner of the 4th Plum Performance Award and the 1st Huabiao Film Awards. On the same day of the Forum, Ms. Tu will show the highlights of the new Peking Opera combining essence of Chinese and western operas.

Ms. Feng Guangyu

Chinese Theatre Works

It was established by Feng Guangyu and Stephen Kaplin, aiming at preserving and developing Chinese traditional performance art, combining the aesthetic techniques and forms of western operas, creating transcultural and cross-border works and sharing with audience, artists, scholars and students all over the world through performance, exhibitions, lectures and works. They create at least one original opera in different artistic forms on the basis of Chinese culture every year and are awarded of quantity of rewards on international art festivals.

The finale of the opera after the wonderful live performance of Chinese Operas!

On the site of the activity, the excellent performance of masters aroused the Chinese and foreign audience’s great passion. Sets of Chinese operas, Kunqu Opera the Peach Blossom Fan and the play Leopard vary in characteristics. Especially, the Little Red Hat in the form of Chinese opera performed by Chinese Theatre Works that was established by Ms. Feng Guangyu impressed everyone deeply! It is an innovation and a breakthrough to explain a western fairy tale in Chinese opera, which actually lead Chinese operas into foreigners’ spiritual world!

At the end of the activity, the half-an-hour interactive communication pushed the atmosphere to an upsurge! As a reporter, I asked Ms. Feng Guangyu some problems and her answers shocked me greatly!  She said that what she wanted to do was not only to propagate Chinese traditional culture, which was not able to move people or realize propaganda of the quintessence of Chinese culture and international culture communication! Her goals and dreams are always on the way. Because opera groups locate in various states in America and there are lots of issues to be discussed further, she hopes that the Forum can be held for a long time, invite more opera workers and systematically record the hardworking events in China Association of Literary and Art Study. With a Chinese original opera self-positioning, through the pattern of manifestation of operas, traditional Chinese culture and western culture are combined to indeed integrate Chinese culture into American mainstream culture!

Flushing Town Hall builds up the bridge of deeper communication between Chinese and American cultures!

When the activity came to an end, as the responsible person of the New York Flushing Town Hall, Michael Liu said, because opera groups locate in various states in America and there are lots of issues to be discussed further, she hopes that the Forum can be held for a long time, invite more opera workers and systematically record the hardworking events in China Association of Literary and Art Study.

As a historical and cultural relic in New York, Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts takes charge of operating and managing various programs of literary and arts as well as educational activities in Flushing Town Hall. Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts (FCCA) aims at promoting various artistic activities all over the world and providing a perfect communication platform and more educational resources for ethnic groups in Queens, New York so as to promote understanding and integration among different ethnic groups.

Since the establishment in 1979, the Council has tried its best to promote art equality. We support all the artists including local residents, new immigrants, domestic masters or international masters. Through different forms of cooperation and communication, our efforts are enhanced.

As one of the Cultural Institutions Groups (CIG) authorized by the New York government, the Council is also authorized by the New York government to manage Flushing Town Hall (FTH) and take charge of repairing and operating the historical relic that was built in 1862. For so many year, FCCA has advocated delicated Jazz concerts and propagated the long history of Jazz music in the Queens. Meanwhile, it also has been devoted to providing artistic education and providing practical opportunities for art beginners, art amteurs and professional artists. In accordance with Suggestions on Flushing and the excellent tradition of tolerance since 1657, we insist serving the pluralistic community consisting of different ethnic groups, which accepts everyone’s love and recognition!

Media Contact
Company Name: Flushing Town Hall
Contact Person: Michael Liu
Phone: (718) 463-7700?
Address:137-35 Northern Blvd.
City: Flushing
State: New York
Country: United States