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Opera gala opens to wide applause

By Zhang Lei and Zhou Furong | China Daily | Updated: 2020-10-17 10:28

Wang Yang, deputy mayor of Suzhou (first right) with the staff from the National Peking Opera Company. [Photo by Han Chengfeng/For China Daily]

They have brought Kuqu Opera on stage for the gala in an attempt to cultivate young audiences. Imitator is an original Kunqu Opera that has been carefully created by Kunshan Contemporary Kunqu Opera Company for three years. The main creative team comprises of young talents from the company, including Huang Zhuyu, an outstanding actor, one of the promoters, leading actors and screenwriters of the play.

Cai Zhixiong, an 80-year-old opera aficionado from Chengdu, Sichuan province, rushed to Kunshan despite the long distance. He bought a 38-day pass and said that he and his wife will watch all the remaining plays this year.

The gala, since 2018, has organized 232 dramas, 274 plays, and 134 performances in 30 provinces. A total of 80,000 people watched the performances on-site, and the number of online viewers exceeded 38 million.

It is hailed by experts as "an unprecedented and landmark event in the history of Chinese opera culture". This year's gala is keen on showcasing the remaining 116 dramas in performances, involving 25 provinces, as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. It is planned to perform 19 grand dramas (including one grand opera from Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao), 20 opera highlights, and a finale featuring all operas.

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