Chinese artist re-create Hamlet in Kunqu opera style

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Chinese artist re-create Hamlet in Kunqu opera style

It’s Shakespeare meets Chinese opera – brought to New York City by renowned Chinese opera star Zhang Jun.

For one night only at the Asia Society, Zhang Jun retells the Shakespearean classic of Hamlet in ancient Kunqu opera style, to a full house.

CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.
Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan

Chinese artist re-create Hamlet in Kunqu opera style

Chinese artist re-create Hamlet in Kunqu opera style

It’s Shakespeare meets Chinese opera – brought to New York City by renowned Chinese opera star Zhang Jun. For one night only at the Asia Society, Zhang Jun retells the Shakespearean classic of Hamlet in ancient Kunqu opera style, to a full house. CGTN’s Liling Tan reports.
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Zhang Jun, Chinese opera star and UNESCO Artist for Peace, performing his re-imagination of the Shakespearean tragedy “Hamlet” written in ancient Chinese prose, with a few spoken English words, and sung in classical Chinese Kunqu opera style.

The performance commemorates the 400th anniversary of English playwright William Shakespeare and Chinese playwright Tang Xianzu. It also pays tribute to the 600-year history of the Kunqu opera style.

“In China, people know more about Tang Xianzu. In the west, London or New York, people know more about Shakespeare. Today, I heard people saying that they were savoring the flavor of the show. They found it very interesting. I think it’s most intriguing that a Chinese performance can bring people closer to western literature classics. To me, being interesting is important,” Zhang said.

Co-presented by Asia Society and the China Shanghai International Arts Festival, the play premiered in Shanghai in October, and played to audiences in London in December.