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Modern Beijing Opera Battle on the Plain Arias CD

  • Battle on the Plain Arias CD
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Product Description

Ping Yuan Zuo Zhan (modern Beijing Opera: Battle on the Plain)
Performed by Li Guang, Gao Yuqian, Li Weikang, Wu Yuzhang
CD produced by Tianjin Audio-Visual Ltd
ISRC CNC090132900
ISBN 7883080571

At an early autumn of a stalemate stage of Anti-Japanese War, Eighth Route Army main force in the the base of Taihang Mountain, in order to complete luring the enemy into each campaign to annihilate, sends platoon leader Zhao Yonggang (portrayed by Li Guang) to lead a group of soldiers entering the plain area of Japanese occupation, who launch the guerrilla battles relying on the masses' support, clamp down on the enemy in reinforcements, Guitian's group, for cooperation with the main force. Zhao YongGang leads soldiers to destroy the railway, pull out the blockhouse, burn the grain depot, bomb the arsenal, etc. bring Guitian's group badly battered and unable to enter mountain to reinforce. Under cooperating each other outside and inside of the mountain our troops have crushed Japanese invader's attack to the base area of Taihang Mountain. The enemy commander Guitian was killed by hero Zhao Yonggang.

8 Model Plays

The so-called eight model plays were officially formed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). They were the only plays performed at that time. Materials were from the communist activities or related subjects. Actually the then staged modern plays were not just limited to eight. They are the "The Legend of Red Lantern", "Sha Jia Bang", "The Harbor", "Takeover of Wei-Hu Mountain", "Hymn of Dragon River", "Battle on the Plain", "The Du-Juan Mountain", "Sweeping the White Tiger Regiment", "Pan-Shi-Wan" and "Red Woman Detachment". The model plays were then " translated" into other local operas. Usually that means adopting the play scripts as they were and changing the music accordingly.

Modern plays can be understood as a trial of reform to this grand old art. Traditional plays feature the stories of ancient or pre-modern Chinese history. There are certain forms for the costumes, the character face paintings, stage properties, musical melodies and stage actions. But most of these are not applicable to the modern plays. For example, modern weapons, such as pistols and rifles, are used on the stage in stead of pears and swords. Therefore new perforating forms were developed. The most famous change in the modern plays is the use of a huge orchestra including violins, piano etc instead of the usually small musical group, producing the most beautiful sounding effect. Stage setting was also enriched. Painted or light projected scenes were adopted. Costumes were different from the traditional plays. There were hardly any makeup applied. Therefore there was no face painted in the plays although some of the roles were still classified as painted faces.

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