Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 53 - Chinese Opera

Day 53

We got to Church in good time this morning.  The room was packed when we got there.  A group of LDS dentists that are going to be spending this week in the Ji’nan area doing humanitarian work joined us for our meeting.  We had a total of 27 members there!  Rather exciting for us.  We all brought extra food for the potluck and had them stay and eat with us.  We also had a non-member come.  His name was Mohammed.  He teaches Arabic at Shandong Normal School.  I’m not sure what he thought of it all, but he seemed to enjoy himself.  It was a good time.  After they all left, the couples that teach just sat around and talked for quite some time.  David and I were the first to leave.

This was our group at Church today.  It was fun to have so many there!

We were invited by one of David’s students to see a program tonight about the Costumes and history of Chinese opera. (Be very jealous, Rachel!) It was so amazing!!  One of the journalism professors was given some VIP tickets and this student is good friends with this professor and her daughter.  They picked us up in their car and drove us there.  We were plenty early and went in to see a jade show.  That was totally amazing also.  We did not know that there were so many colors of jade.  And all of them beautifully carved.  
Jade piece that had flowers.

I was captivated by the intricate carving.

Just beautiful!

This was all carved from one rock. Fascinating!

There were several that looked like they had all just been plucked from the ocean and frozen in the jade.

One rock, all hollowed out in the middle.  The color is the color of the rock.

Here are videos of parts of the Opera.

The show was something that will live in our memory forever.  The costumes were so gorgeous and the pageantry that was surrounded it was unbelievably incredible.  We had two of the students sitting next to us so that they could explain some of the reasons for the colors and the actions of the performers.  As we walked into the concert hall, a news reporter from one of the student news stations wanted to interview us, so the student that had invited us interpreted for us, well David.  That is who they talked to.  I just stood there looking wonderful…  So we went in and saw the show. 

This is a scene from a nightmare/dream that was being depicted.

A part of the opera had clowns in it.  I didn't get the one foot that was on the top of this guys head.  That is his belly button in the middle of his mouth.

This is the Emperor with his wife and concubines.  They were allowed to wear the fancy head dresses and no one else.

Immediately after the show, we were interviewed by the Shandong Province TV station and then we were taken to the stage and got pictures with some of the actors in their costumes.  As we were getting the pictures taken, a Chinese woman came up to us and asked where we were from.  We told her and then learned that she lives six months in Sacramento, CA and six months in China to help promote Chinese culture and she was the mother-in-law to the lead actress.  She then introduced us to the director of the show and he took us over to meet two of the women that were connected to the show and they all wanted to know what we thought.  They would like to take this show internationally and wanted our opinions about if people would come to it.  We believe that people would and in the process of talking to them, they invited us to come to a meeting on Tuesday morning to meet with the directors and some foreign people to try and get this taken internationally.  I can’t go because I teach on Tuesday mornings, but David has agreed to go and see if he can persuade the international people that this is a show worth taking to the world to see.  One of the students that was with us is going to try and get a copy of the TV interview.  Another fantastic day in China!

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