272 Beijing Opera Performers - Bao Zhen - Number 11
Beijing Opera - "The Ungrateful Husband"
Boa Zhen with the black full face, plays the leading character in "The Ungrateful Husband," adapted from a folk tale "Drumbeat Song of Qin Xianglian." A drumbeat song is a song to the accompaniment of a drum. It used to be a popular form of entertainment in north China. The songs or stories were usually about struggles between honest and dishonest officials or wars against invasion. Although they concerned mainly the doings of emperors, kings, ministers, and generals, they reflected to a greater or lesser degree the hopes of the common people and what they loved or hated. Qin Xianglian had been adopted into many kinds of operas. The Beijing list-opera version is titled "The Ungrateful Husband." It tells about the courage and selflessness of Bao Zhen (999-1062), a judge who defied the wrath of the imperial family and sentenced to death the emperor's son-in-law Chen Shimei. The latter, in order to marry the emperor's daughter, had not only disowned his legitimate wife and son but even tried to kill them.Back to Beijing Performer's List - Page 1