Viram Jasani, CEO of the Asian Music Circuit, said ‘This year is a very special time for the AMC, and we’re excited to have planned such an exceptional range of events. Lots of the programme is participatory, and we hope hundreds of Londoners – and visitors to the city too – will join us for these brilliant events. If you want to learn or experience something new this summer, you’ve now got plenty of ideas…’
As the leading promoter of Asian music in the UK, the AMC brings music from across the Asian continent to UK audiences, and has offered tuition in Chinese instruments at its summer school for several years. ‘The AMC is the only company in the UK that has regularly produced very high-quality music from all over Asia for the UK public. We’re a diverse company, and we’ve promoted Chinese music in the past, but a whole season dedicated to Chinese music and culture is a first for us.’
The AMC’s Chinese Season takes place across June and July. Events include…
Temporary exhibition: ‘Enter Stage Right: Costumes from the Beijing Opera’ at the Museum of Asian Music in London.
A visually breathtaking new exhibition of costumes from the Beijing Opera.
Come and immerse yourself in the world of Chinese scholar Xu Xian and his unlikely beloved Bai Suzhen (the White Snake), and Xue Pingui, the pauper who became a general and his wife Wang Bao-chuan (the prime minister’s daughter who married into poverty). These, and a host of other fascinating characters from Chinese Beijing Opera, will be on display in this unique exhibition of the stunning costumes from one of the national operas of China.
This free exhibition will run from Wednesday 22nd June 2011 to Friday 29th July 2011 in the AMC’s Museum of Asian Music, Bradford Road, London W3 7SP. Opening hours Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm. Special weekend opening on 25th and 26th June, 10am – 5pm. Late night opening: Wednesday 29th June, 10am – 8pm. Free admission.
Course: Guzheng (Chinese harp)
We are delighted to invite Zhu Xiaomeng (also known as Julie) to lead our Guzheng course once again. Julie has been active on the London Chinese music scene for years, and is one of the most prestigious, respected and well-known Chinese musicians in the UK. She performed in the first ever solo Guzheng concert in China and has released more than 10 albums worldwide, including traditional Guzheng pieces, Chinese pop and Western folk. Open to all.
Wednesday 15th June – Saturday 18th June 2011, AMC’s Museum of Asian Music, Bradford Road, London W3 7SP.
Course: Kunqu Opera ‘Dan’ Voice and Movements
Kunqu Opera is the most refined of all the operatic forms in China. We will be offering an intensive weekend course, in recognition of the intrinsic value of Kunqu. You will be taught the rudiments of Kunqu, fan and watersleeves movements, singing, reading music and lyrics, with a general overview of its history. At the end there will be a three-minute piece of solo acting and singing that you will be proud of.
Kathy Hall, an experienced practitioner and teacher of Kunqu, will teach basic voice use and movements of the lady’s role and provide advice on further reading. She will make this unique art accessible to beginners with clear, step-by-step guidance to help you enjoy your learning experience. Dress: comfortable top and trousers and soft indoor slippers.
Both male and female participants above 14 years of age are welcome. No experience necessary. Course participants are entitled to a £5 ticket for An Evening of Beijing and Kunqu Opera on Thursday 21st July 2011.
Saturday 25th June (10.00am – 5.00pm) and Sunday 26th June 2011 (10.30am – 5.15pm). AMC’s Museum of Asian Music, Bradford Road, London W3 7SP. Fee £70 (£60 conc.) for both days. Watersleeves practice costumes included in fee. Please bring one 26-30 cm folding paper fan which opens out to 180 degrees, or purchase from teacher when you enrol (£12-£15).
Workshop: Chinese Calligraphy
Widely regarded as the most abstract and sublime form of art in Chinese visual culture, calligraphy requires high levels of concentration and creativity. Join teacher Ruijun Hu for an evening of spiritual and physical activity. Open to all. Advance booking not required.
Wednesday 29th June 2011, 6.30pm, AMC’s Museum of Asian Music, Bradford Road, London W3 7SP. Fee £3 (including all materials).
Course: Dizi (Chinese bamboo flute)
We are pleased to welcome Ruijun Hu to teach short evening classes in Dizi. Ruijun is a member of the London Chinese Orchestra and UK Chinese Ensemble. He has performed at the British Museum’s oriental display room opening ceremony, at the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, at the V&A Museum, and also as a solo bamboo flautist both in the UK and Europe. Open to all.
Wednesday 6th July – Friday 8th July 2011 (6.30pm – 8.30pm). AMC’s Museum of Asian Music, Bradford Road, London W3 7SP. Fee £15 per day (£12 conc.) or £40 (£35 conc.) for all three days.
Concert: An Evening of Beijing and Kunqu Opera
A concert at Purcell Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Southbank Centre, London. Thursday 21st July 2011 at 7.45pm; an auspicious Lion Dance will lead the way from the foyer at 7.15pm.
Qin Liang Actor
Ming Lu Actor
Kathy Hall Actor
Zenghui Qiu Spike fiddle
Qi Zhang Moon lute
Ying Wan Drums and clappers
Haishuo Liu Cymbals and small gong
Jack Footitt Bamboo flute
Ruard Absaroka 3-stringed lute and horn
Xiao Wang 2-stringed fiddle
The glittering beauty of the dan (female) roles in Beijing Opera and Kunqu Opera have long dominated the Chinese opera stage – come and meet them in this vignette showcase.
The Heavenly Maiden brings blessings from the world of Buddhism, the lonely young widow pines to be loved, the royal concubine entertains the doomed King with a moving sword dance, and the loyal lady-in-waiting disguises herself as the princess to avenge the slaughter of the imperial household.
Enter the inner worlds of four different women in mesmerising opera scenes, presented by the Asian Music Circuit in association with London Jing Kun Opera Association.
The performance will be accompanied by surtitles in English and Chinese. Tickets for £10 (concessions 50% off; limited availability) on 0844 875 0073 or www.southbankcentre.co.uk