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Modern Beijing Opera Red Woman Detachment Arias CD

  • Red Woman Detachment
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Product Description

Hong Se Niang Zi Jun (modern Beijing Opera: Red Woman Detachment)
Performed by Du Jinfang, Feng Zhixiao, Qu Suying, Wang Jinghua
CD produced by Tianjin Audio-Visual Ltd
ISRC CNC090132900
ISBN 7883080571

The Red Detachment of Women is a revolutionary model of modern Chinese Peking opera. It describes that during the first revolutionary war, women of Hai Nan, who had been at the lowest social order, threw off the shackles, picked up the weapons and joined the Red Army becoming the best Red Army Women Warriors. Wu Qinghua, the poor girl (portrayed by Du Jinfang) was rescued by the cadre of Red Army, Hong Changqing (portrayed by Feng Zhixiao). Hong directed Wu to go to the Red Women Detachment.

modern beijing opera  survivors of red army woman warriors

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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