This piece is a Chinese legend, which has been used as a popular subject in several Chinese operas, films and television series. The story tells of a young scholar Xu Xian who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is actually a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human form. A monk named Fahai, envious of their love, devises many wicked plans in order to separate the couple. After many trials and tribulations, the white snake and Xu Xian are reunited.
China National Peking Opera Company
Established in January 1955, China National Peking Opera Company (CNPOC) is a national organization of performing arts directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. The first President of CNPOC was the great master Mei Lanfang. Today CNPOC consists of three performance Troupes, one Stage Art Center and the Mei Lanfang Great Theatre.
Since its founding, the company has brought together a large number of outstanding performing artists and playwrights, directors, composers and stage artists, who enjoy a high reputation both at home and abroad, such as Li Shaochun, Yuan Shihai, Ye Shenlan, Du Jinfang, Ajia, Weng Ouhong and Fan Junhong and others. With a big number of masters, CNPOC has developed into a performing organization of Peking Opera with great advantages.
For 60 years, CNPOC has inherited, created, and staged more than 500 traditional, newly-written historical and contemporary Peking Opera Plays with various themes and forms. Up to now, it has developed an art spirit of inheritance, innovation, adaptations from other artistic forms and well portraying characters. Moreover, it has created an artistic style with rich contents, profound thoughts, various schools, and a well-balanced cast.
More than 50 plays and over 200 members of CNPOC have won awards in national and international performance competitions. In recent years, it has always been on the list of winners of China’s major cultural awards, such as the Splendor Award (for professional theatrical artworks), the Best Works Award, China Peking Opera Festival Gold Award, Works of Excellence on the Nation’s stage, Mei Lanfang Gold Award, Plum Blossom Award and others.
Cultural exchange is one of the major tasks of CNPOC. It has been organizing performances around the world, covering over 50 countries and regions on five continents, and won a good international reputation. Through these activities, CNPOC has made contributions to promote Sino-foreign cultural exchanges as well as enhancing the friendship between Chinese people and the people of the world.