Still in love with Peking Opera
Seeing more youngsters watch Peking Opera in recent years has made everything that she did for the art and the industry's development worthwhile, said Wang Rongrong, a deputy to the National People's Congress.
Wang, a popular Peking Opera artist, has worked for the quintessence of Chinese culture for about 30 years, "and I am still in love with it," said the 54-year-old.
She applauded the country's efforts to promote the opera, but this year during the NPC session she suggested optimizing funding "to use the money where it is most needed," she said.
Unlike most others who learned the art when they were younger than 10 years old, Wang did not go to a professional opera school until she was 17.
"I wasn't born into an artistic family and my parents even thought the opera was a little bit noisy while I was listening to it as a teenager," she said. "But they couldn't stop my love for the art."
Coincidentally, she met Tong Xiangling, a famous opera actor, when she followed her father to see a doctor in Shanghai. Tong spoke highly of her voice and persuaded her parents to let her do what she really liked.
Finally, she got her wish at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. But without any basic training, she had to struggle much more than others, "which brought me both physical and mental pain. But I had to persist, as it was my choice and passion."
Since becoming popular in the industry, and especially after being elected an NPC deputy, she has called on the government to help the art flourish.
She submitted motions and suggestions to train or teach the opera in schools.
"I went to schools and colleges and performed for students. I knew it was hard to simply ask them to love the art, but I could let them feel the beauty and significance in the performances," she said.
"When students understand more about our traditional cultures, it will be easier to inspire their interest," she said.
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