The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program

The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program (POSIP) will run virtually from May 31-June 11, 2021.

The deadline for applications has been extended to March 15, 2021.

*Missed the deadline? If you (especially graduating seniors and grad students) are still interested in the program, email by end of March.

Instead of an in-person program in Shanghai, the Immersion Program will be held online for two full weeks with instruction from outstanding Peking Opera performers from Shanghai Peking Opera Company (SPOC) and the Hongyimei Peking Opera Theater (SHPOC). This change was made due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its associated travel and health risks. The virtual program is designed with small tutorials, workshops, and lectures for a two week  immersion program of intensive study and training in the Northern style of musical theater (called “Peking Opera”). Instruction will be in the medium of Chinese (Mandarin).

The faculty is led by famous Peking Opera star Madame Yihong Shi and consists of a group of stellar young performers from the the Shanghai Hongyimei Peking Opera Company and the Shanghai Peking Opera Company. Based on traditional Chinese art aesthetics, the faculty will teach a knowledge of Peking Opera, Peking operatic singing style, recitative, movements, and other performance skills. Each student will be taught excerpts from famous Peking operas based on one of the four categories of performers: male, female, painted face, and clown.

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. This program is free of charge for Princeton students admitted to the Program.
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 will offer admission on a rolling basis. Final deadline for submission is March 15, 2021 and final offers of admission given on March 20, 2021. Commitments by admitted students to attend must be given by March 25, 2021.

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 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.

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

Deadlines. Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted by March 15, 2021; 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 or March. Notifications of acceptance will be given to applicants by March 15, 2021. Commitments are due March 25, 2021.

Classes run for two weeks, from May 31-June 11, 2021. Classes meet for 3 hours per day, 5 days per week. Preparatory work consisting of six classes will be held over three Saturdays in May 2021: May 8, May 15, and May 22. The curriculum is divided into Preparatory Work and three sections:

Preparatory Work: 6 hours. Spaced over May 8, 15, and May 22, 2021. Students will study movements and concept basics with teachers from Shanghai through ZOOM. Students can attend classes when they are held on Saturdays or can elect to view asynchronously via web-based recordings.

May 31-June 11, 2021
Section 1: Lectures:  Senior artists will introduce the history, basic features, and demonstrate aesthetics of Peking Opera.

Section 2: Experience: Following their interests, students are divided into four groups (male, female, painted face, and clown) pursuing specialized study of excerpts from specific operas. Different excerpts emphasize Song, Recitation, Acting, Dance, and Combat/Acrobatics. At the end of the program, each student will present in a recital.

Section 3: Workshops: Students will see and practice the wearing of Peking Opera costumes and the application of face paint and head ornaments.


All teachers are nationally-certified Peking Opera performers. Instruction will take place mostly synchronously and on ZOOM. Instruction and discussion will take place in Mandarin Chinese.

If you have questions, please contact Chao-Hui Jenny Liu ( To confer by ZOOM meetings or phone calls, make appointments here