DPRK art troup performs in Beijing

According to Yonhap:

A North Korean remake of the Chinese opera A Dream of Red Mansions will premiere in Beijing next month, a Chinese-language daily reported Thursday.

The Hong Kong-based Takungpao said the staging of the Chinese classic of the same title, also known as “Hong Lou Meng,” by North Korea’s national Phibada (Sea of Blood) Opera Troupe will be staged in the Chinese capital city from next Thursday through Sunday.

A Dream of Red Mansions is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature, written between 1749 and 1759. It is one of China’s Four Great Classical Novels.

The North Korean version of the opera reportedly debuted in the North last year as part of celebrations marking 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two allies.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was reported to have been directly involved in updating the 1961 version created by his father and the regime’s founder, Kim Il-Sung. Former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and other Chinese leaders watched the original version of the North Korean performance, newspaper reports from that era show.

The North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported last October the North Korean leader and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao watched the Chinese opera remade by North Korean artists at the Pyongyang Grand Theater, during the latter’s visit to North Korea. China’s Ministry of Culture donated costumes for North Korean artists involved in A Dream of Red Mansions.

The Takungpao report said more than 200 North Korean performers will visit Beijing for the staging of the opera, the largest foreign theatrical company to visit China in recent years.

The newspaper said that the leading and supporting actors are well-known stars in North Korea, most of them educated at the Pyongyang Kim Won Gyun Conservatory (Satellite image here), a higher educational institution for music named after a North Korean composer.

Kim Il-hwang, who stars as the protagonist Jia Baoyu, is the grandson of Kim Jong-hwa, who also played the protagonist in the 1961 version, according to Takungpao.

Read the full story here:
N. Korean version of classic Chinese opera to premiere in Beijing
Yonhap
Kim Young-gyo
4/29/2010

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