Kunqu opera theatre to better promote art legacy


Updated: 2015-10-19

The new Kunqu opera theater shows the Kunshan city's respect for folk opera art, said Dong Wei, deputy minister of culture.

Founded on Oct 12, the Kunshan Kunqu opera theater, eighth of its kind in Chinese mainland, takes up 13,000 square meters in the cultural square in Kunshan, Jiangsu province, accommodating a playhouse of 679 seats, rehearsing room, exhibition and office space.

Two Kunqu opera performers and senior executives from Jiangsu Performing Arts Group, Ke Jun and Li Hongliang, will work as the chief operating officer and chief executive officer. Zhang Jun, a performer honored as UNESCO Artist for Peace in May, will work as the art director.

To create, rehearse and perform opera, explore Kunqu opera theories, and develop opera culture are the three major tasks of the theater, following established Kunqu opera theaters in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Nanjing in Jiangsu province, Chenzhou in Hunan province, and Yongjia and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province.

Kunqu opera, one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera, originated in the late Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) in Kunshan and developed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Characterized by dynamic structure and melody (kunqiang), it influenced other opera forms such as Sichuan and Peking operas.

Kunshan, the birthplace of the art, is committed to the protection and development of the ancient art form. The city founded several institutes to study and promote Kunqu opera. The training and performing club system, which is crucial to nurturing talent, has been revived with the return of an old name Kunyu and the emergence of new names such as Yufeng and Yushan.


By Liu Sitong and edited by Andrew Ancheta


Four special holiday dishes to try in Kunshan

Like Christmas Day in the West, it is traditional in China to cook up an enormous feast on Chinese New Year, with dinner tables groaning under the weight of dozens of dishes.

Copyright © 2013 China Daily All Rights Reserved Sponsored by Kunshan Municipal Government Powered by China Daily