Renowned Taiwanese opera actress Liao Chiung-chih (廖瓊枝) was warmly received in California after giving four lectures and performances in a series of events as part of the Ministry of Culture's efforts to promote Taiwanese culture overseas.
Liao, best known for playing melancholy female characters in Taiwanese opera, recently concluded her tour of the University of California (Los Angeles), the Irvine Chinese School, the Los Angeles Central Library, and the Pacific Asia Museum of the University of Southern California.
The series of events, which included demonstrations, discussion of the traditional poses and voices of Taiwanese opera, as well as costumed performances of key scenes, took place between Feb. 13 and 16.
Curator Amelia Chapman of the Pacific Asia Museum of the University of Southern California expressed her gratitude to the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles for inviting Liao to share her experiences with local opera lovers and help raise awareness of Taiwanese culture in the local community.
Liao's two protégés, Chang Meng-yi (張孟逸) and Huang Ya-jung (黃雅蓉), also garnered applause from the audience for performing selected scenes from the classic Chinese romance tale "The Butterfly Lovers” (梁山伯與祝英台) during the tour.
"It's a special occasion for California audiences to appreciate Liao's performances, especially because she came a long way from Taiwan,” said Director Chi Tung-yang (紀東陽) of the Taiwan Academy in Los Angeles, after the session at USC's Pacific Asia Museum.
After more than 60 years of performing, Liao, who began her opera career at the age of 10, has become a central figure in the intriguing history and development of traditional Taiwanese opera. Upon becoming 80 this year, Liao has truly devoted her life to performing and teaching Taiwanese opera. In addition to being certified as a "living national treasure” by the government, Liao was also presented with the National Cultural Award in 2008.