WU Hsing Kuo

Wu Hsing-kuo entered the National Academy of Fu Hsing Dramatic Arts at the age of 11 years old. He studied there for eight years, and won leading roles in the school band at the age of 16. After graduating from the Academy, he enrolled at the University of Chinese Culture in Taipei. He was later hired by Lin Hwai-min, founder of Cloud Gate. The trips that he undertook with the troops overseas, and films, the shows he saw there helped him to form his vision. In 1984, he began to work on the draft of a new opera style, that he situated in a distant past in order to mix different cultural elements without bothering conventions. It was the only way, he said, to bring the opera to a younger audience. He took a piece of the Western classical theater repertoire, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, as a starting point and, with some friends worked on its adaptation. After three years, they finally presented “The Kingdom of Desire” which was performed in 26 cities around the world – the Royal National Theatre in London, at the Palais des Papes in Avignon, in several cities in Japan, Odin Theatre of Holstebro in Denmark, or at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, USA. Encouraged by this success, Wu Hsing-kuo continued in the same vein with War and Eternity (adapted from Hamlet) in 1990, King Lear and The Tempest in 2000 in 2004. Without limiting Shakespeare, he was also inspired by greek tragedy Medea by Euripides with in 1993 and The Oresteia by Aeschylus in 1995. He has also adapted the classic piece of Peking Opera. He created two hip operas, including The play of Brother and Sister in 2002.