Ghaffar Pourazar:A Foreigner’s Different Peking Opera Style
Art Exchange VOL.04/2012|Yu Yu

   

Ghaffar in Peking Opera At the Crossroad

Ghaffar in Performing “MonkeyPresentation” and Recent Photo of Ghaffar

At the award-granting performance of Peking Opera Amateur Performers Competition held in Beijing recently, an actor on the stage brought the house down upon singing the Ma School of Opera melody with good rhythm and rhyme The audiences soon found that the actor wore the classic English clothes with oil painting brush dotting on the board on the stage and turned the board pasted with his own photo in unfinished oil painting way to the audiences as his debut. 

This selected piece of The Chinese Orphan in such an exotic way was performed by an Englishman, Ghaffar Pourazar. Many audiences are greatly interested in his efforts of innovating Opera performances. Ghaffar remarked that all his fancy ideas were based on the needs of performing.  

Ghaffar, as a big fan for Peking Opera, has won the Golden Dragon Award, the top award of International Peking Opera Amateur Performers. He was once called “Foreign Monkey King” because of his brilliant performance of this role. In the beginnings of 1990s, he crossed the Rubicon in Britain and went alone to China to learn the martial role of Opera. “I watched a performance of Peking Opera in London and was overpowered by its charms immediately.” He used to be a sportsman and likes Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, while being conversant with soccer and badminton. He has also learned Taichi boxing and enjoys dance and pantomime, all of which enable him to feel fit with his performance of Peking Opera. 

Ghaffar’s Peking Opera Mask

Portrait of Ghaffar by Friends

Ghaffar in Peking Opera The Chinese Orphan

In his first days in China, Ghaffar often caught a cold and had fever owing to different living condition and linguistic barrier. Among his foreign fellow students learning Peking Opera from UK, US and Japan, two or three years were the maximum duration and several days or months were the minimum. Only Ghaffar pulled himself through all the difficulties and followed the performing practices strenuously. Thanks to his endless efforts, he has finally made the present achievements and formed the indissoluble bond of more than 20 years with Peking Opera and China. 

Having been engaged in the martial role for many years, Ghaffar, a man of more than 50 years old, has accumulated many injuries and sicknesses. Some of them are beyond him, which forces him to give up acrobatic fighting and assume the singing. As for the plan ahead, he said that he had set up the International Peking Opera Center in US and would persist in promoting the art of Peking Opera by virtue of lectures, performances and exchanges. He planned to pioneer a great cause by creating 3D animation works of Peking Opera with his team on the strength of his own 3D animation designing expertise. 

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