China Seminar | 13 January 1994

On the Eve of the Honolulu Premier of SHAJIABANG: Fire Amid the Reeds – A Revolutionary Opera

SHEN Xiaomei SHEN Xiaomei

Privileged as the last student of Mei Lanfang and a celebrated artist of the Beijing opera genre in her own right, Mme Shen Xiaomei will speak on the passage from traditional to modern revolutionary opera in China. She will be accompanied by musician [] and performer []. For the past semester, the three artists have been visiting master-teachers at the University of Hawaii Department of Theatre and Dance, where the revolutionary model opera, Shajiabang, Dr. Elizabeth Wichmann directing, has been going through rehearsals for a mid-February opening.

Originally composed as a Shanghai-style opera called “Fire Amid the Reeds,” the opera achieved the name of “Shajiabang” in 1964 as well as the rank of a model revolutionary opera with the popular theme of protecting wounded soldiers during China’s war of resistance in the late 1930s. Mme Shen personally experienced the artistic rigors of both traditional and revolutionary opera. Honolulu audiences will remember Mme Shen during the staging of Spring in the Jade Hall, and China Seminar members will remember her talk and performance at the seminar in the spring of 1990. Dr. Elizabeth Wichmann will also grace the seminar with her presentation of Mme Shen, the oepra and translation of Mme Shen’s remarks.