The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program

New! The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program (SPOC) will run in-person for Wintersession 2025 (not 2024).


The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program (POSIP) will run virtually from August 8-19, 2022.

04/08 Update: The deadline for the program has passed, but we will continue to accept applications.

02/04 Update: The Princeton University Peking Opera Shanghai Immersion Program 普大上海京劇培訓班 will be offered on-line from August 8-19, 2022.Image removed. Operatic dance, acting, song, and martial arts will be taught intensively for two weeks. Instruction will emphasize proper methods of Peking operatic singing, precise economy of movement, and crisp enunciation of words. Afterwards, back on the Princeton campus in Fall 2022 (date TBA), students will demonstrate these skills in a live recital.

Details for the Summer 2022 Program are as follows:

The virtual program is 2 weeks long with at least 44 hours of class contact hours.

Actors from the Shanghai Peking Opera Company (SPOC) and the Shanghai Hongyimei Peking Opera Company (SHPOC) will provide instruction in how to perform famous excerpts from selected operas. Instructors last summer included famous actors Yihong Shi, Murong Fang, and Dun Wang. Teaching faculty for summer 2022 will be announced soon.

The language of instruction will be Mandarin Chinese. Generally, applicants should have had at least two years of college-level instruction in Mandarin or have gained equivalent skills in the spoken language.

Role-specific classes will meet for 3 hours per weekday for two weeks, from August 8-19, 2022. In addition, there will be preparatory classes and multiple workshops on voice, language and history, Peking opera appreciation, and make-up.

Preparatory Classes. 5 hours. Students will study the basic movements and singing of Peking Opera, divided into classes focusing on male and female roles for one hour a day, from Sunday, August 8 to Friday, August 12. These classes are usually offered in the morning at 9 a.m. (EST).

Role-specific classes. 30 hours. Students meet every weekday August 8-19 for 3 hours per day. Participants can select one of four roles (man 生, woman 旦, painted-face 淨/花臉,or clown 丑). Different roles will emphasize all or some elements of Peking Opera—song, recitation, acting, dance and acrobatics. All students will learn an aria or excerpt related to their roles. These classes will be offered  in the evening, from approximately 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. (EST).

Workshops. 9 hours. Princeton faculty will teach one-hour workshops on opera-appreciation (2), literature (1) and history (1). Shanghai faculty will give two additional one-hour voice lessons and a three-hour workshop on the application of face paint. Most classes will take place in the morning around 9 a.m. (EST). The three-hour workshop on face painting will be offered in the evening from approximately 7:30 to10:30 p.m.

Each student will receive an opera kit including an embroidered practice robe, cosmetics, and props for performance (fan, embroidered handkerchief, or sword).

Students will demonstrate what they learned in an on-campus recital hosted by the Department of Music and co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Program, “Peking Opera: An Exploration of Chinese Aesthetics,” in Fall 2022.


The Summer 2022 Peking Opera Online Program is free to all eligible Princeton students, faculty, and staff.


Classes begin on Monday, August 8 and end on Friday, August 19, 2022. Required Orientation and Opening Ceremony will take place one day before the program begins, on Sunday, August 7, 2022.


Eligibility. All Princeton University undergraduates or graduate students in good standing can apply. Intermediate ability in modern Chinese language (Mandarin), e.g., two years of college-level Mandarin or its equivalent, is required. There is also a faculty fellowship program. Please email [email protected] for if you have any questions.

Application. Applications should be submitted through the Global Programs System (GPS) portal. Admissions will be on a rolling basis.

Applications should include:

1) A paragraph explaining your reasons and goals (academic, cultural, and/or artistic) for attending the Peking Opera Program. 

2) A short statement about your Chinese language abilities. If you are enrolled in Chinese language study, list your courses at Princeton or elsewhere. If you have language experience outside of Princeton courses, describe your abilities in speaking and understanding Mandarin.

3) One 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 31, 2022; 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 April 5, 2022. Commitments by students to attend the Program are due April 19, 2022. Late commitments can be accepted until May 1, 2022, but opera kits may not be guaranteed for late commitments.

*Low enrollment and pandemic uncertainties may lead to cancellation of the virtual 2022 summer Peking Opera Program. We should know whether the program runs in summer 2022 by the beginning of April in 2022. We look forward to resuming our program in Shanghai in future years at the earliest opportunity.

For questions or for information, please email CJ Liu ([email protected]). Appointments for meetings in-person or by Zoom/phone can be made here.

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 Hongyimei Opera Company, and the Shanghai Peking Opera Company.