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Extrait Kun Opera Troupe

  • Date:2021-06-25
Extrait Kun Opera Troupe

‧ Chinese Name: 拾翠坊崑劇團
‧ Time of Establishment:: 2016
‧ Location: Taipei, Taiwan
‧ Did You Know?
In the few years since its founding, the members of the Kun Opera Troupe have already taught at the Kun Opera Clubs of National Taiwan University, Soochow University, National Taiwan Normal University, and National Cheng Kung University, on top of having been invited to perform at the Kun Opera Camp of National Central University and the Kun Opera Workshop at the National Theater and Concert Hall. They have also been invited to give demos and talks at various schools across Taiwan and holding a workshop in Taichung to help the form set down roots in the Greater Taichung Area, and on top of all this, they have brought Kun opera to the people of the outlying islands through a small, but sophisticated promotional program.

Founded in Taipei in 2016, the Extrait Kun Opera Troupe has brought together a number of outstanding professional performers. The troupe prides itself on a high level of commitment to its heritage and performance philosophy, with a strong dedication to the teaching and promotion of Kun opera and the exhibition of traditional Kun plays.

The main members of the troupe are the art students and trainees that came out of the National Center for Traditional Arts’ Kun Opera Heritage Project from 1991 to 2000. Over the course of those nine years, the participants had the privilege of being tutored by masters and national treasures from several of the biggest Kun opera troupes in mainland China. Molded and shaped by the world-class training they were able to get from these masters, coupled with a vast wealth of teaching and performing experience, these outstanding performers have made continual efforts to refine and hone their abilities, and today, they have now become mature performers and educators in their own right, the backbone of Kun opera in Taiwan.

The leader of the Extrait Kun Opera Troupe is Lin Yizhen, who holds a Master of Arts in Applied Drama/Theater from the National University of Tainan. Lin is currently the instructor of the National Taiwan University Kun Opera Club and is the author of the book “The Lineage of Taiwanese Kun Opera.” In addition, she is a former student of the National Center for Traditional Arts’ Kun Opera Heritage Project, having studied in the dan group, as well as having been a member of the Shuimo Quji Kun Opera Troupe and an executive producer for the Lanting Kun Opera Troupe. During her studies of Kun opera, she received instruction from such teachers as Cai Zhengren, Zhou Zhigang, Yue Meitei, Ji Zhenhua, and Gu Zhaolin. In addition to the NTU Kun Opera Club as a whole, Lin has also provided coaching to individual members of the National Taiwan University, National Cheng Kung University, Soochow University, and National Cheng Kung University Kun opera clubs. In addition, she has been invited to lead workshops and lectures on Kun opera at the National Theater and Concert Hall, National Taiwan Museum, and various schools throughout the length and breadth of Taiwan.

In their Kun opera teaching and promotion work, Extrait adopts a comprehensive approach to teaching the general public with a combination of in-depth theory and practice, while for dedicated students who are interested in performance, the focus is on more grounded, thorough education.
In terms of Kun opera performances, Extrait is committed to a high level of self-discipline and philosophy, relying on these to produce exquisite performances. Their “Flower Hall x Kun” series, performed on stage at the Great Flower Hall of the Wufeng Lin Family Garden, brought together this ancient art and an important historic site and included performances of "The Jade Hairpin" and "The Legend of the White Snake." These productions were tightly integrated with the space, creating a charming atmosphere on the garden stage. The troupe has also performed at Natural Way Children’s School, Songshan Cultural Park, and the Kun Opera Museum of National Central University, with shows including "Peony Pavilion: Touring the Garden," "Peony Pavilion: Awakened from a Dream," "The Jade Hairpin: Love through a Poem," and "Red Pear Blossom: The Pavilion Meeting." These performances were integrated with traditional festival celebrations and with the layout of the hosting space to provide a tight, comprehensive show.

Extrait Kun Opera Troupe aims to pass on and promote the art of Kun opera, bringing together students of the Kun Opera Heritage Project, outstanding musicians, and young scholars to work together to preserve the roots of this ancient art through both performance and teaching. They hope that through this, they will be able to maintain the most authentically Kun-style Kun tradition, while at the same time introducing more of the public to this world heritage level cultural treasure.