The inheritance, innovation and development of Huangmei Opera must be more precise in grasping the requirements of the times, focusing on the needs of the people, forming infectious and competitive characteristics, and achieving “one play, one character, one play, one style”
This year, the Huangmei Opera “Immortal Pride” created by Zaifen Huangmei Art Theater put the story of revolutionary martyr Yang Kaihui on the stage and attracted people’s attention. As a main theme work, the creation of “The Immortal Pride” embodies our exploration of how to inherit and innovate Huangmei Opera in the new era.
Times shape heroes, and times need heroes. In the creation of the theme theme, it is particularly important to perceive the background of the times and feel the spiritual world of the hero. “Immortal Pride Yang” is about what happened in the last 8 hours of Yang Kaihui’s life. In order to play the role of Yang Kaihui, our team went to Hunan and spent a lot of time in in-depth conversations with the local people. Art comes from life, and heroes come from the people. Only by going deep into reality and rooting in the people can creators get a steady stream of creative inspiration. This is also the foundation of the success of “Immortal Pride”.
In addition to solid research, the success of the repertoire also requires innovation in the form of expression. The screenwriter cleverly used the form of flashback to let the audience understand Yang Kaihui’s life journey more comprehensively. With the cooperation of the screenwriter, stage art, and lighting, through telling the story of the characters, the work fully demonstrates the ideal context and revolutionary feelings.
The key to the inheritance and innovation of Huangmei Opera lies in young people. As an older generation of Huangmei opera practitioners, I not only have to act well and create high-quality works by myself, but also lead a good team and train young actors. This is a kind of inheritance and a duty. Theatrical performance is a very practical profession, and young actors must continue to exercise on the stage if they want to succeed. In “Immortal Pride Yang”, we used young actors to play Yang Kaihui of different ages. The whole play took the old and brought the new, forming a four-level actor echelon of old, middle and adolescents, giving young actors the opportunity to show themselves on stage.
With the development of the times, traditional art has come to the present day, and the situations faced by it are numerous and complicated. For Huangmei Opera, it is both a challenge and an opportunity.
At present, market-oriented competition is becoming increasingly fierce. Some art forms have lost themselves in order to survive and meet certain needs and become homogenized. This is undoubtedly a fatal injury to the inheritance and development of art. What we need to do is to keep the essence of art, and at the same time continue to absorb nourishment, in order to enrich and improve our character.
The inheritance, innovation and development of Huangmei Opera must be more precise in grasping the requirements of the times, focusing on the needs of the people, forming infectious and competitive characteristics, and achieving “one play, one character, one play, one style.” It is hoped that Huangmei Opera can shine with the light of the times, keep its vitality forever, and create more masterpieces that the people like to see and hear.
(The author Han Zaifen is the vice chairman of the Chinese Dramatists Association, a famous actor of Huangmei Opera, interviewed by reporter Tian Xianfeng)