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Distributed for Hong Kong University Press


A Classical Opera of Twenty-First-Century China

The first exhaustive English-language history and analysis of the Chinese opera genre, Kunqu.

In Kunqu: A Classical Opera of Twenty-First-Century China, Joseph S. C. Lam offers a holistic and interdisciplinary view of Kunqu, a 600-year-old genre of Chinese opera that has been fashionably performed inside and outside of China. The first comprehensive and scholarly book on Kunqu written in English, this book explains how and why the genre charms and signifies Chinese culture, history, and personhood. Approaching the genre from several perspectives, ranging from those of performers and producers to those of casual audiences, dedicated connoisseurs, and scholarly critics, Lam also employs a judicious blend of Chinese and international theories and methods. Herein, he establishes the significance of Kunqu not only in the sphere of Chinese music but among the cultural heritage and performing arts at a global level as well.

300 pages | 7 color plates, 25 halftones | 6 x 9

History: Asian History

Music: Ethnomusicology

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. Kunqu: A Performance and Discourse of Twenty-First-Century China
2. Kunqu Institutions, Practitioners, Terminology, and Theories
3. Kunqu: A Heavenly Opera
4. Kunqu: An Earthly Opera
5. Kunqu Lives, Dreams, Documents, and Character Models
6. Kunqu Operations: Resources, Stakeholders, Yuescapes, and Products
7. Contemporary Kunqu: Creative Performers and Evolving Shows
8. Kunqu as Yue Performance and Discourse: A Case Study of Kunqu Instrumental Music
9. Kunqu as a Twenty-First-Century Chinese ICH and World Opera
10. Kunqu at a Crossroads: Continuities, Changes, and Explorations
Appendix 1: Current Kunqu Scholarship: A Sketch
Appendix 2: Titles of Kunqu Dramas, Zhezixi and Qupai
Appendix 3: Music Examples
Appendix 4: Links to Online Audiovisual Kunqu Recordings
Works Cited

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