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Shanghai Peking Opera Immersion Program
Shanghai, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Summer
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This program is currently not accepting applications.
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Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
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Fact Sheet:
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Program Type: Study Abroad (summer) Language of Instruction: Chinese
Language Prerequisite: Yes Program Features: Academic Study, Intensive Language, Music Performance, Research
Degree Level: 1st year u/g students, 2nd year u/g students, 3rd year u/g students, 4th year u/g students, Grad Student--Master's, Grad Student--PhD Housing options: Hostel/Hotel
Duration of Program: Less than 4 weeks
Program Description:
Program Description:

Shanghai Peking Opera Immersion Program

June 8-26, 2020

The Princeton University Shanghai Peking Opera Immersion Program is a three-week immersion program of intensive study and training in the Northern style of Chinese drama (called “Peking Opera”) at the Shanghai Peking Opera Company (SPOC), based in Shanghai. Instruction will be in the medium of Chinese (Mandarin).

Normally, the minimum requirement for admission is two years of college-level instruction in Chinese; other students with equivalent abilities are also eligible. The program will award certificates, but no Princeton credit will be given.
Shanghai Peking Opera Company (also known as Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company, 1198 Tianyaoqiao Rd., Shanghai, China) is a government-sponsored cultural enterprise established in 1955, with Peking Opera master Xinfang ZHOU as the first principal. This theater company enjoys a stellar reputation throughout China. Immersed in the southern city of Shanghai, SPOC has developed its own style of propagating Peking Opera culture. Shanghai Peking Opera Company is now partnering with Princeton University to provide intensive training in Peking Opera skills and an experience of traditional Chinese culture to a select group of Princeton students.

Eligibility. All Princeton University undergraduates or graduate students in good standing, from any major or department, are eligible to apply. Applicants must be highly motivated to study traditional Chinese opera and culture. Intermediate-level ability in modern Chinese language (Mandarin) is required. Normally, the minimum requirement for admission is two years of college-level instruction in Chinese before the start of the program; students with equivalent abilities are also eligible. 

Application. Applications should be submitted through the GPS (Global Programs System) portal. We provide rolling decisions on admissions about two weeks after application is complete until the program is filled. Final deadline for submission is February 15, 2020, Applications require submission of three parts:

1) a paragraph explaining why you wish to attend and how the Opera Program fits into your educational goals.

2) a short budget detailing your request for transportation and meals in Shanghai.

3) a short statement about your Chinese language abilities: if you’re enrolled in Chinese language study, list your courses at Princeton or Princeton-in-Beijing or elsewhere; if, instead, you have language experience outside of Princeton courses, describe your abilities in speaking and understanding Mandarin.

Recommendation. A letter of recommendation from a current Princeton faculty member is also required. Recommenders will be prompted by GPS to submit letters.

Deadlines. Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted by February 15, 2020; earlier applications are welcome. Those with language expertise gained outside of Princeton courses who are accepted into the program will be asked to schedule a 10-minute Mandarin language discussion/test in February. Notifications of acceptance will be given to applicants by February 20, 2019.

SPOC is providing fellowship support for tuition, fees, lodging, and breakfast. To cover the additional expenses for transportation to and from Shanghai and some meals (totaling up to $2,000), funding will be provided by Princeton University to students accepted into the program. Awards will be administered through the Student Activities Funding Engine (SAFE).

Up to twenty fellowships will be awarded.

Classes run for three weeks, from June 8-26, 2020. Students should arrive in Shanghai on June 6 and depart on June 27, 2020. Classes meet for 6 hours per day, 5 days per week, with some additional time on weekends and evenings for observing performances. The curriculum is divided into three sections.

Section 1: Introduction to Peking Opera, 15 hours. Senior scholars use text and images to introduce the history, basic features, and aesthetics of Peking Opera.

Section 2: Taste of Peking Opera, 65 hours. Following their interests, students are divided into four groups pursuing specialized study of segments of specific operas, like Farewell My concubine. Different segments emphasize Song, Recitation, Acting, Dance, and Combat/Acrobatics. At the end, each group presents a 10-minute performance.

Section 3: Live Observation, 10 hours. During the weekends, we will attend special performances of the Shanghai Peking Opera Theater, including behind-the-scenes and post-performance meetings with performers.

At Princeton, half-day forum. Following the program upon return to Princeton in the fall, students will participate in a forum on Chinese Opera presented by the Music Department in which they will have an opportunity to share the results of their study.

Teachers are nationally-certified Peking Opera performers. Normally, instruction and discussion will take place in Chinese (Mandarin).

Board and Lodging
Students will be housed double-occupancy at Ji Hotel
(1881 Tianyaoqiao Road, Shanghai), a three-star business hotel located across the street from the teaching space of the Shanghai Peking Opera Company. Numerous restaurants and cafes are within walking distance for meals.

For further information, please contact Dr. Chao-Hui Jenny Liu (

Sponsoring programs include:
Program in East Asian Studies, Office of the Provost, Princeton-in-Beijing, Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China, Department of East Asian Studies, Department of Music, Shanghai HYM Culture & Media Company, and Shanghai Peking Opera Company.


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Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.