The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 06, 1998, Page 9, Image 9

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    Peking Opera
brings ancient
tradition to Lied
By Bret Schulte
Assignment Reporter
The Orient is coming to Lincoln, and not
through Pier 1 Imports.
The Peking Opera, famous throughout the
world for its centuries-old tradition of “active”
opera, brings its pageant of traditional costumes,
fairy tales and highly skilled performers to the
Lied Center for Performing Arte tonight.
Unlike Western opera, in which music is
emphasized over physical action, opera in the
Peking tradition employs dancers, acrobats and
martial artists to bring its stories to life, said pro
ducer Dan Hughes.
“Peking Opera is action opera,” Hughes said.
Evolved from centuries of Chinese tradition,
Peking Opera incorporates three basic forms of
physical Chinese art: dance, gymnastics and
Performers train their entire lives to master
the vast repertoire of Chinese folk tales and
upeia pieces,
//_ usually study
•• ing all three
Every foot “aT
movement, hand m^y“ye
movement and ^ 5®“stud^
ing for years,
eye movement is SVghes said
^ You just can t
significant^alk iat0 a
^ J Peking Opera
DANHUGHES :t°aTwoyrkn
producer every foot
hand move
ment and eye movement is significant.
“They’ve got kids 6 or 7 years old training to
be a Peking performer.”
Since the late 1980s, The Peking Opera has
been selling out performance centers around the
country. Tonight’s performance is part of the
company’s second visit to the United States. The
. group’s tour started in February and will contin
ue through April.
With more than 50 members of the company
on the tour, the Peking Opera has been dazzling
crowds with its elaborate costumes and brilliant
ly choreographed action sequences.
“Standing ovations is what we’ve been hav
ing consistently,” Hughes said. “This is a cultur
al and entertaining experience for children and
rui u.o. icsiuems, me rexing upera nas
created a program of excerpts from four classic
Chinese stories.
Divided into two roughly 45-minute halves,
The Peking Opera will perform two short fairy
tales: “The Sword is a Gift from Bai Hui” and
“Stealing the Stored Silver” during the first half
of the program.
After intermission, the program will change
slightly, focusing on sequences from popular
Chinese novels of the 16th century. The first
piece is “Li Kui visits his Mother” from the clas
sic “Outlaws of the Marsh” - a story of a man
who takes his blind mother to war with him
because she can no longer live on her own.
“Havoc in Heaven” follows, and is immense
ly popular among audiences, Hughes said. The
story focuses on the Monkey King, whose antics
as he crashes an aristocratic banquet get a lot of
laughs from the audience, Hughes said.
“It’s very beautifully done and certainly
without a doubt the Monkey King is a favorite,”
Hughes said. “He is adorable.”
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $22, $18 and
$14, half-price for students. For more informa
tion, call the Lied Center Box Office at (402)
Hughes said tonight’s show is a once-in-a
lifetime opportunity.
“The only way to go see a show like this is to
go to China,” he said. “And that V expensive.”
the idol of 1
Symphonic Band to pay tribute to Sousa at Lied
By Barb Churchill
Assignment Reporter
Being 60 years removed from the face of
the Earth usually cuts into one’s performance
But Saturday night, John Philip Sousa will
be in Lincoln for a repeat engagement. Sort of.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Symphonic Band will perform “A Salute to
Sousa,” an exact recreation of a 1928 Sousa
concert appearance in Lincoln.
Rod Chesnutt, director of the Symphonic
Band and assistant professor of music at UNL,
said this particular concert format is based on
Sousa’s because Lincoln was a regular stop for
his renowned professional concert band in the
1920s and 1930s.
“This concert is recreated from the original
material, right down to the soloists, the over
tures, the marches and the other pieces,”
Chesnutt said.
Sousa’s imnnrtance to Amorioan musir anH
the American concert band cannot be overesti
mated. Sousa was the preeminent bandleader
of his time, and was “the most famous musi
cian in the world,” Chesnutt said.
Sousa composed 151 marches and many other
pieces of music, including ballets, operettas, inci
dental music and variety-show music. Today, Sousa
is known more for his marches than anything else.
The popular British comedy series “Monty
Python’s Flying Circus” uses Sousa’s “Liberty
Bell” march for its theme music, which helps
point out Sousa’s enduring popularity.
Other commonly played marches include
“Washington Post,” “U.S. Field Artillery” and
“Stars and Stripes Forever.” All of them,
including “Liberty Bell,” will be performed at
some point during this concert.
The 1928 Sousa concert will be recreated
because 1998 is the 70th anniversary of the
“University of Nebraska” march,not-so-coin
cidentally written by Sousa.
The “University of Nebraska” march was
commissioned during Sousa’s regular Lincoln
stop in 1927 and premiered by Sousa’s band in
1928 on its next trip into Lincoln.
“The only difference,” Chesnutt said with a
smile, “is that when Sousa came into Lincoln
in 1928, it was the fall. We’re doing this con
cert in the spring because football is just a bit
more important now than it was in 1928.”
The Lied Center for Performing Arts con
cert-event is held every three or four years. The
UNL Wind Ensemble was last featured in the
Lied Center in 1994.
“Every few years, we try to do this type of
event because it’s important for our band students
to know their heritage and history,” Chesnutt
said. “This is a concert that is soaked in history.”
This concert-event is twice as long as the
typical Symphonic Band concert. It features
three conductors (Chesnutt; Jay Kloecker, UNL
director of bands; and Lawrence Mallett, direc
tor of the UNL School of Music), three soloists,
about 10 marches and more than 20 pieces in all.
“The Carnival of Venice” is considered the
prototypical trumpet solo for band.
Jean-Baptiste Arban, composer
of “The Carnival of Venice,”
is credited as the founder
of the modem school of
trumpet playing, and
expanded the
expectations of
all trumpeters by
his playing,
teaching and
“In 1927,
‘The Carnival
of Venice’ (fea
tured trumpet
solo) had been
around for
awnne in ns
original form
for orchestra. It
was like one of
our Top 40
Chesnutt said.
Darryl White,
assistant profes
sor of trumpet at
UNL, agrees
with Chesnutt
regarding the rele
vance of this piece.
‘“The Carnival of
Venice’ is a musically
significant work which
expanded the technical
capabilities of the trumpet,”
he said. “It is extremely vir
tuosic and demanding.”
Trumpeter Vito Speranza
will be featured on “The
C arnival o f Veni c e. ”
Speranza currently
serves as an air
man in the
Heartland of
Band, in
r e s i -
a t
Offutt Air Force Base. Speranza earned his
bachelor’s degree at Potsdam University in New
York and an advanced performance degree from
the Conservatorio Di Salerno in Italy.
The arias “Ah Fors e Lui” and “Sempre Libera”
from “LaTraviata,” woe justifiably famous in 1928.
“La Traviata” was composed in 1853 by
^fB^^ Please see SOUSA on 10
MattHaney/DN i m
Professor to perform English oboe rarities
By Barb Churchill
Assignment Reporter
William McMullen, associate professor of
oboe at UNL, believes strongly in promoting
lesser-known musical works written for the
oboe. Especially if the works in question are
from Great Britain.
McMullen used his sabbatical from teach
ing last semester to research and perform in
Great Britain the works that will appear in his
recital Sunday in Kimball Recital Hall.
McMullen loves Great Britain for both its
strong contribution to Western art music, and on
a more personal level.
“My father was on sabbatical in Great
Britain for half a year when I was in high school,
and I wanted to go there again,” McMullen said.
“In addition, I’ve played a lot of British
repertoire and I wanted to learn more.”
McMullen will play four lesser-known
works for oboe by four highly-regarded British
composers. While doing the research on^hese
pieces in Great Britain, he took every opportu
nity to study and perform these works.
McMullen performed these four pieces 12
times for seven different people while in Great
Britain, and also performed them recently in
Grand Island during the city’s “Sunday
Afternoon Music” recital series.
McMullen will perform Herbert Howells’
“Sonata for Oboe and Piano,” Gordon Jacob’s
“Seven Bagatelles for Solo Oboe,” Richard
Rodney Bennett’s “After Syrinx 1 for Oboe and
Piano” and Lennox Berkeley’s “Sonatina for
Oboe and Piano.” i
, n
The most unusual piece on the program is
Bennett’s “After Syrinx 1” because it was
inspired by the much better-known “Syrinx for
Solo Flute” by the French impressionist com
poser Claude Debussy.
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s pro
fessor of flute John Bailey, in an inspired bit of
programming, will perform Debussy’s “Syrinx”
immediately preceding Bennett’s “After Syrinx
1.” This is an extremely unusual sight in a con
ventional classical music recital.
McMullen believes this recital will serve a
valuable educational purpose.
“I enjoy playing recital literature that hasn’t
been heard before,” McMullen said. “It’s an
educational experience for the students and for
the general public. They’ve never heard this
music before, and they should enjoy it.”
. McMullen’s oboe recital will be held
Sunday night at 8. Admission is free.