Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre in Beijing, China.

In November 2007 the Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre (1) was opened to the public, just a few meters from the so called Financial Street, where Chinese richest financial institutions have their luxurious offices, surrounded by not less luxurious hotels and fantastic malls.

During the day the theatre building seems a simple steel structure with enormous windows, only differentiated from other buildings around by a very shiny wall painted in red with decorative motives in gold (probably only plastic), Chinese preferred colours. But the same theatre at night, with lights inside and outside the building, changes up to turning in a futuristic comic space shift-style building.

Its five storeys contain three cafeterias, two souvenirs shops, a bookshop and a luxurious boutique selling a very special collection of Peking Opera dolls and jewellery. On the fifht level there are a gallery showing around 30 traditional costumes of the main roles in Peking Opera.

The Theatre is not specialized in Peking Opera only, it hosts many kind of operas from all over China and also Western-style musicals. That evening I saw an opera called "Zouxikou" 走西口 from Shanxi province. Nothing special for me; kind of traditional masses performance played in the worst realistic style. I took some photographs that illustrate my lack of comment about it. (See the Spanish version of this Blog)


A rare event, Chinese theatres usually have names coming from the area they are located or some nice sentences from litetature or poetry; a individual's name means that the man is very very important, as Mei Lanfang is.

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