Oct 8, 2013
12:05 PM
Arts & Entertainment

Chinese Cultural Intrigue: Classic Peking Opera in Waterbury

Chinese Cultural Intrigue: Classic Peking Opera in Waterbury

A scene from a New York Chinese Opera Society mid-summer performance at Flushing Queens Library.

Here are some elements for a plot line this Saturday: The forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-60s and cloudy skies; after heavy rains earlier this week, the autumn hues will have a more muted, quieter appeal; 2013 is the Year of the Snake in Chinese culture, and while fall is a season of diminishment in nature, it is a time of rebirth and adventure in the arts.

What do these disparate elements add up to? A narrative that could have you enjoying arts-and-culture mystery, intrigue and exoticism in the form of a 2 p.m. performance by the New York Chinese Opera Society (NYCOS) at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, followed, perhaps, by a foliage drive in the golden, glowing late afternoon light and dinner in the Litchfield Hills.

But let’s focus on the performance.

Inspired by the belief that “reaching out to … communities and presenting opera in relevant and accessible ways can profoundly invigorate and broaden the cultural experience shared by all,” the New York Chinese Opera Society presents classic Peking Opera, a tradition in China for more than 200 years that is “revered for its poetic eloquence, musical refinement and dramatic wonder,” according to a release on this weekend’s performance.

“Combining music with dance, it contains stylized pantomime as well as strenuous acrobatics,” the release says. “It is a genuine Chinese art upholding such Chinese virtues as loyalty, filial piety, chastity, justice and righteousness.”

It’s unlike anything you’ve seen and worth the effort, especially considering that the price of admission is merely a “suggested donation” of $10.

“The last time we were honored to host the New York Chinese Opera Society was in 2009. We are delighted to once again bring this prestigious company to share their unique cultural experience with students and the Waterbury community,” NVCC professor William Foster said in the release.

The “Beauty of Peking Opera” program will be presented at 2 p.m., following a 1 p.m. workshop demonstration of elements of Peking Opera. The performance will feature “Goddess showering flowers from Heaven,” “Story of the Black Pot” and “The Golden Turtle.”

The performance will take place in the Playbox Theater at the college, and is co-sponsored by the NVCC Martial Arts Club and the NYCOS. All proceeds will be donated to Safe Haven of Greater Waterbury. For more information call (203) 575-8193 or see the college’s website.

The New York Chinese Opera Society is a non-profit organization consisting of volunteers, opera admirers, trained artists and musicians. It is founded on the belief and appreciation that Chinese Opera, with its known historical significance, is so richly rooted in Chinese culture that it is sorely in need of support before it becomes a lost art. Through the efforts of NYCOS, the traditions of Chinese Opera with its distinct style of music, singing, instrumentation and staging can be preserved and enhanced.


Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown and Woodbury. The college is located on a 110-acre campus at 750 Chase Parkway in Waterbury, and in Danbury at 183 Main Street. The college is one of 17 institutions governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. Visit nv.edu for more information.


Chinese Cultural Intrigue: Classic Peking Opera in Waterbury

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