Ghaffar Pourazar is trying to save Chinese Opera. Ironically he is not Chinese. He is British and of Iranian descent. The Beijing opera is a cacophony of noise, hard on the ears of Westerners and even harder to comprehend. To the Older Chinese generation, it is a treasure but it is quietly slipping away as China modernises. In 1993 Pourazar he saw a performance by a traveling troupe and he went to China and had been studying Beijing opera: and now is only a few foreigners who have managed to master in the performing art form. He had been teaching the art form internationally and adapting it even to Shakespearean plays.
Among many of his favorite stage-roles, Ghaffar Pourazar was most adept in performing as the ‘Monkey King’ a well-loved mythical character. After meeting primatologist Jane Goodall, he was inspired to write and adapted Goodall’s life in his Beijing opera style. Last year, SOCCA sponsored a presentation by Ghaffar Pourazar in a workshop “My Beijing Opera Dream and Celebrating Jane Goodall’s Bestiary” at the Grizzly Peak Winery in Ashland.