Over the weekend I had the opportunity to see Essence of China: Beijing Opera De-Mystified – a Ghaffar Pourazar demonstration at the California International Theatre Festival in Calabasas. This production was free and is part of a mixture of rich cultural offerings available. Some are free and some charge a fee—but all are diverse and impressive.
Ghaffar Pourazar (Chinese name: :??; pinyin: Ge Fa), is a British former computer animator turned Beijing Opera performer. He became the first Westerner to complete the rigorous course of training at the National Academy for Beijing Opera. He has committed his career to Beijing Opera, which he believes is a “time capsule of Chinese culture.” His mission: Make Beijing Opera accessible through educational and performance tours.
Mission accomplished as he enthralled the audience with his charm and knowledge plus his enthusiasm and dedication for this deep art of the Beijing Opera. Videos and colorful displays also added to the beauty of an actual performance and noted the discipline needed to study this art. This performance has concluded, but the good news is that there is much more at the festival which concludes this weekend.
California International Theatre Festival 2010 season is presented by the City of Calabasas with Linda Purl as Festival Director, M. Edgar Rosenblum as Executive Director and Tammy Taylor as Festival Producer. The Festival takes place in several Calabasas locations and includes distinguished international productions. Open up your world by attending this festival. You can travel the world and explore international culture and even see Michele Lee’s cabaret style show this weekend. Make it a must to check this out.
The Festival’s website at www.citfestival.org provides complete info and you can purchase tickets there or by calling 800-351-2766.