The beauty of Chinese traditional opera is that it is an integrated art form consisting of practical elements such as dance, music, singing, acting, stage fighting, martial arts, acrobatics, face painting and costume design. The goal of the ICBO Training School is to thoroughly train students in all these individual elements and thereby provide the future artists that can carry on this magnificent form. Master Zhang Ming Lu oversees the training of the young students who will carry on this tradition. At the age of 82 Master Zhang is the oldest surviving member of the original Beijing Opera School, Ming Chun Shi.
At the same time, ICBO brings an innovative approach to the training by widening the scope of the young Beijing Opera artists by introducing them to other cultures and languages, thus giving them the understanding and communication skills necessary to bring their ancient art form into the modern era. It will be the responsibility of these young artists to preserve the old plays and create new productions that capture the hearts of modern audiences. In addition, the introductory courses and short-term training opportunities for non-Chinese students contributes to international awareness and understanding of Beijing Opera.
Teaching is done in both Chinese and English languages. The school will offer a full four-year program for full-time students. Students enrolled on the long-term program live on campus. Short-term students can choose courses in various elements, depending on their interest.