Taipei Li-Yuan Peking Opera Company

TAIPEI LI-YUAN PEKING OPERA THEATRE

Members of Taipei Li-Yuan are all professional players of Peking Opera. Trained for nine years in the Taiwan National Academy of Operatic Arts and skillful in Chinese kung-fu, acrobatics, and traditional dances as well as instruments, they have joined Taipei Li-Yuan upon graduating from college and toured the world with the company as actors/dancers.

Taipei Li-Yuan was founded in 1998, ten years after her most celebrated leading actor/director Maestro Bao-chun Li, came to Taiwan and started his career as a partner of the C. F. Koo Foundation, an NPO dedicated to promoting traditional performing arts. The members also performed independently in TaipeiEye, a showcase of Chinese traditional performing arts for tourists in Taipei, with Maestro Li as the Artistic Director. They have won recognitions as a troupe of talents and creativity in both traditional and modern movements and have performed in sundry occasions of cultural exchanges in success.

Maestro Bao-chun Li(李寶春)

Actor/ Director

A star among stars in Peking Opera, Bao-chun Li was born in 1950 into a family of great theatric heritage in China. His grandparents and parents were all celebrated Peking Opera players. His father, the legendary Shao-chun Li, had a repertoire that is still considered unsurpassable.

Following his father’s steps, Bao-chun Li specializes in both the ” lao-sheng ” (bearded man) and the “wu-sheng” (combating hero) roles. At the age of nine, he began the strict disciplines to become a Peking Opera player. He was admitted to the renowned Beijing Peking Opera School where he continued his study for eight years. Upon graduation he was assigned to the China National Peking Opera House in Beijing (other Peking Opera troupes in China being all provincial or municipal).

Unfortunately, during the Cultural Revolution, Bao-chun Li’s family was labeled political dissidents, and he was forced to undertake hard labor in a farm atop suffering from the tragic and sudden deaths of his parents and grandparents. Bao-chun Li did not give up his endeavors in Peking Opera even then: he continued practicing after work, leading to a successful career.

Bao-chun Li has well mastered both the singing and the acting of Peking Opera. On top of a voice full of variety and velocity, his graceful body movements and adroitness in combating scenes enjoy wild acclamation. In 1983, after playing at the Cologne Arts Festival, he was conferred the Honorary Doctor Degree of Chinese Drama and Arts by the Northern Pontifical Academy in Nantes, France. Later on, he moved to the USA and was bequeathed the Award for Outstanding Asian Artist by the Chinese American Arts Council at the Lincoln Center, New York, in 1987. In 1989, he gave his first performance in Taiwan, receiving great recognition. In 1990, he entered a contracted partnership with the C. F. Koo Foundation in Taiwan and has been giving at least two productions annually till this date.