“What Happens when Peking Opera meets William Shakespeare in Wu Hsing-Kuo’s Contemporary Legend Theatre” is the intriguing title of a talk at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in New York on March 21. Ken Smith, music critic of The Financial Times and Mary Lou Aleskie, Executive Director of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas will discuss Wu Hsing-Kuo’s theater work King Lear. This work was presented at the Lincoln Center Festival in 2007. It is King Lear not only told in Beijing Opera idiom, but by only one actor – Wu Hsing-Kuo himself. You might call it minimalist since there is only one actor and no set. You might also call it maximalist because Beijing opera’s use of elaborate customs and make-up, some it reminds me of Akira Kurosawa’s Ran. The work will be presented at the International Festival of Arts & Ideas on June 28 & 29.

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