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Stories for Mar. 10, 1999


Tracking the Causes of a Mysterious Disease


Middlekauff Lectures on Early American Democracy


Campus Faculty on NPR March 12


Painter Winston Branch Shares His "Great Love" for Painting and Education


Celebrating Women Role Models


Frontline Report on Protecting the World's Refugees


Retirees to Log-on Via Cal Retirement Center Network Starting in April


Berkeley Financial System Goes Live


Events Honor Trailblazing Anthropologist Elizabeth Colson


Real-World Plans by Designing Students


Campus Garden to Remain at Oxford Tract


Photo: Mat Work


Photos: Safety Tips for Green Thumbs


Tamara Keith: Passed/Not Passed Can Be a Game of Russian Roulette

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Photo of the Week: Fusion-Vision Peony Pavilion

Peony Pavilion

Tenor Lin Qiang Xu and soprano Ying Huang play star-cross'd lovers in director Peter Sellars' avant-garde production of the kun opera Peony Pavilion -- which saw its U.S. premiere in Zellerbach Hall Friday, March 5.

Hailed by Bay Area cultural critics as the music-theater event of the season, Cal Performances' presentation combined traditional elements of the 16th-century classic with closed-circuit TVs, English supertitles, post-modern stage design and western orchestral, rock and experimental sounds by New York-based composer Tan Dun.

Six performers played the opera's tragic pair -- among them former Shanghai opera star Madame Hua Wenyi. In a pre-performance talk, Sellars described Hua's urgent desire to preserve the tradition by invigorating it with contemporary elements. "It must be new!" was her frequent refrain, he said.

Sharing the stage with Sellars, the cast and musicians for the standing ovation following the American premiere was Cyril Birch, professor emeritus of Chinese and comparative literature and languages. Birch translated the Ming classic into English more than 30 years ago and worked with Sellars to pare Tang Xianzu's 55-scene masterpiece down to modern length. Noah Berger photo.


February 24 - March 2, 1999 (Volume 27, Number 24)
Copyright 1999, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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