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Perking opera's leading voice

Director and star of the traditional genre passes on tips to bring in a new generation, Zhang Xiaomin reports in Dalian, Liaoning.

By Zhang Xiaomin | China Daily Global | Updated: 2023-03-17 08:50

Yang (first from right) instructs performers at a national training class on the genre of the Yuan school of Peking Opera in August 2017.[Photo provided to China Daily]

He has performed in more than 20 countries and regions, including the United States, Britain, France, and Germany.

"As an old Chinese saying goes, 'A minute on the stage takes 10 years of practice.' Without hard practice, one can never become a good Peking Opera actor," says Yang.

"Practice makes perfect. It is common to practice a movement 100 times. The headstand, which lasts 20 to 30 minutes at a time, is also a compulsory course for us," he says, adding that young actors today generally lack the fortitude to bear such hardships.

Nowadays, people have more channels to get information and have more hobbies. Fewer people have the inclination to either learn or enjoy Peking Opera.

Yang admits that he has been worried about the lack of successors.

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