Extraordinary masters from important Beijing opera families along with many dedicated learners have established the Philadelphia Chinese Opera Society (PCOS), our region’s only organization devoted to the study, teaching, and performance of Beijing opera (also known as Jing Ju, or Peking Opera). This highly developed and stylized art form dates back over two thousand years. Beijing opera is a synthesis of many elements, including song, music, dance, dramatization, martial arts, acrobatics, costume, face painting, and other folk arts, including many traditional narratives and histories.
PCOS members are committed to discovering and perpetuating Chinese opera, and they draw equal value from the art form and the community that they create in the process of learning and performing together. Practicing in members’ homes and at the Holy Redeemer School in Chinatown, the group is under the artistic direction of Ms. Shuyuan Li, and the musical direction of Mr. Zhenguo Liu. PCOS members have in a very short time made great strides in developing a repertoire of classic and well-loved performances, which they are performing to considerable acclaim both inside and outside the community.