This study aims to revisit the creation of opera, symphonic versions of opera and ballet (yangbanxi) during the period of the Cultural Revolution of Mao's China. Beginning with the Kwok Collection (Fundação Oriente, Portugal), I aim to establish a new vision of the yangbanxi (production and reception) by means of an analysis of sources with musical iconography. The focus of the study is on questions of gender and the way in which the feminine was an indispensable tool for the construction and dissemination of the idea of a new nation-state. This study thus aims to make a new contribution to the area, showing how the construction of new opera heroines, communist and of the proletariat, is built on the image of the first “heroine-villain” constructed by the regime, Jiang Qing, the fourth wife of Mao Zedong. The title chosen demonstrates the paradox of the importance of woman in opera and in politics at a time when the only image to be left to posterity was that of a dominant male hero, Mao Zedong.
- Cultural revolution
- Musical iconography