Music and Performance
London Jing Kun Opera Association Beijing and Kunqu Gala 2011
29th Apr 2011 Posted in: Music and Performance, People 0

Well, this is something I’d never even heard about never mind be asked to take photos of but early in April we were asked to take some photos at an Opera Gala event being held by the London Jing Kun Opera Association (LJKOA). The event was being held at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) which is part of the University of London on a lovely Spring evening.

Earlier in the day I was working a few miles away so was able to jump onto a super cool London ‘Boris Bike‘ and pedal over to SOAS whilst beating all the traffic and the horrible stuffy London Underground. I arrived in time to catch some of the sound check and also to get an idea of the lighting and layout of the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre. The LJKOA had warned me in advance that they were not permitted to add any additional lighting to the stage (good old health and safety!) and that it wasn’t going to be particularly bright in there. Because of this I went armed with 1.8 and 2.8 aperture lenses and the Canon EOS 5D Mark II, which is superb in low light conditions.

“For every minute you see on the stage there is 10 years of practice behind the scenes.”

As the theatre slowly filled up and the performance began and I have to say it was really enjoyable. With all the singing/dialog in Chinese the organisers thankfully had a projector showing subtitles throughout. Unfortunately for me as I spent most of the performance looking through the camera viewfinder I didn’t know exactly what was going on, but I must say it sounded and looked very impressive.

After nearly two hours of ‘snapping away’ I ended up with a set of just under 50 ‘approved’ photos which LJKOA will be able to use to promote themselves and any future events. The full set of photos are available online now but you’ll also see a couple in this blog entry where you can see some of the fantastic costumes and make-up.

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