Watching #TheMonkeyKing gala performance upclose at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last May 18 made me recall and sentimentally miss my trip to Beijing, China with my Mom years ago.
Making Havoc in Heaven is a fun and entertaining live performance presented by the Qingdao Peking Opera Company. Their decades of training and global shows have wowed millions of audience for the past 60 years. This company is regarded as one of the elite and distinguished performing troupes in China.
The live oriental musical rendition of a six-man piece made the production more authentic that feeling of being transported to ancient China. You will like the endearing characters’ superb almost flawless acrobatic skills most especially Monkey King himself!
The Monkey King is made possible by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China and the Embassy of the People's Republic of China.
Set with simple yet colorful backdrop, one will always admire an opera's silky costumes, intricately made head dresses and accessories.
The frequent anticipated scenes are the fancy juggling hand works and mastery of the use of sword, staff pieces.
Few hours before the show, some of the actors positioned themselves in the lobby as they publicly showed how it's done when it comes to putting on their very own make up.
Depending on who your character is, some make up is easy to put and apply while some had intricate and detailed artistry on it. Very admirable!
The year 2018 marks the 43rd year of the formal establishment of the Philippines - China Diplomatic Relations. In light of the progress made by the increase of official people-to-people contacts and exchanges, both countries agreed to facilitate cultural activities to further enhance the Philippines-China bilateral relations.
Part of the 2015-2018 Executive Program of the Philippines-China Cultural Agreement is a cross-cultural collaboration of the Filipino Sarswela/Opera and Chinese Jingju (Peking Opera).
The visit of the Qingdao Peking Opera Company shall feature back to back performances, interactions, lecture-demonstration, and pre-production meetings with Filipino theatre artists to facilitate a traditional theatrical collaboration between the Philippines and China.
When Sun Wukong led the monkey training in the “Mountain of Flowers and Fruits”, The Jade Emperor sent the God Venus to invite him to temple peach feast, which is not real invitation. Enraged by the news that he is not in the guest list of peach feast, Sun Wukong smashed abode of immortals in heaven and stole the temple peach and elixir made by the God Venus.
Flaunting the banner of “The Monkey King”, Sun Wukong called his own troops in the “Mountain of flowers and Fruits”. After defeating the Li Tianwang army sent by the Jade Emperor, Sun Wukong and all monkeys enjoy their happy lives in the “Mountain of flowers and Fruits”.
Established in 1950, Qingdao Peking Opera company is recognized “National Key Provincial Opera Troupes” and “National Advanced Culture Collectives ” by the Ministry of Culture, People's Republic of China. Awarded as “Shandong National Advanced Culture Collectives”, the Qingdao Peking Opera Company was officially ratified as “Province-level Intangible Cultural Heritage” by People’s Government of Shandong Province.
In recent years, the Company has been developing vigorously “Young Talent Cultivation Strategy”. Charged with the important task of cultural exchanges with foreign countries, the Company constantly sends performance visits to Japan, Russia, Britain, South Korea, Norway and other countries.
Photo Credit: Juan Lorenzo Marco
In the years of artistic creation and performance appraisal in the Central Propaganda Department, the Company has won several awards, "China Peking Opera Art Festival Award", "National Children's Drama Repertoire of Outstanding Performances Award", "Shandong Province Quality Engineering Award" and "Shandong province Taishan Literary Award”, among others.
The classic traditional repertoires are "Harmony through a Royal Marriage," "Silang Visiting His Mother," "Wild Boar Forest," "Qin Xianglian," "Wangjiang Pavilion, "Zhu Lian Village," “The Legend of Wang Baochuan and Xue Pinggui," "Big Two," “Uproar in Heaven," "Bazhen Decoction," "Mu Guiying," "Losing Pavilion·Use of Empty City·Killing Masu," "Farewell to My Concubine," "Nest," "An Imperial Concubine Gets Tipsy," "Changbanpo," " Village Of Tigers," "Champion," "Taking Turns Fight against Four Pairs of Mallets.” The repertoires have won extensive influence and deep love among audiences from home and abroad.
Congratulations once again to the men and women of world renowed Qingdao Peking Opera Company. Bravo performance!
Looking forward to more cultural exchange of shows in the near future.
Many thanks Sir Toots Tolentino for having us.