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Combining the best of both worlds

Program seeks to elevate Chinese Opera, and its unique blend of traditional cultural elements with Western operatic principles, Yang Cheng reports in Tianjin.

By Yang Cheng | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-01 15:49

Leading tenors sing at a concert to open a training program on Chinese opera at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music.[Photo provided to China Daily]

"We expect China will open a new chapter in the art form," he says.

Prime examples of Chinese opera include The White Haired-Girl, performed in nine countries, including Poland, Hungary and Romania, in the 1950s.

The opera toured Japan in the 1950s.

The Red Guards on Lake Honghu and Tang Xianzu the Playwright in Concert were performed in Sydney in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and greatly impressed foreign audiences.

A recent opera enjoying widespread acclaim is Minning Town, which depicts the relocation of villagers in Xihaigu, Ningxia Hui autonomous region, under the guidance of a capable Party cadre, and is an ode to China's achievements in poverty alleviation.

In the opera, the mixture of traditional Chinese folk arts and the Western opera style has created a new harmony, says Lei Jia, a top soprano who is also a trainer for the program held in Tianjin.

Hao Liangliang, vice-dean of the School of Music at Shaanxi Normal University, who is a trainee of the program and a tenor, says: "The project has given us rare opportunities as artists and educators, because we share a common ground that we hope will push culture, research and performances to new heights."

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