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City hosts Kunqu opera festival

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2015-10-23

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The sixth Chinese Kunqu Opera Art Festival took place in Suzhzou in East China's Jiangsu province from Oct 12 to 19.

Depicting a hard-pressed family reunion taking place in troubled times, The Story of White Rabbit (Baitu Ji) was performed by Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater at the festival's opening at Kunshan Poly Grand Theater on Oct 12. In the following seven days, Kunqu opera theaters and educational institutions from across China put on 17 outstanding shows at six art venues in Suzhou.

City hosts Kunqu opera festival

A scene from The Story of White Rabbit (Baitu Ji). Performers Wang Fang and Zhao Wenlin from Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater led the performance of The Story of White Rabbit at the opening night of the sixth Chinese Kunqu Opera Art Festival. Photo from suzhou.gov.cn

After watching the shows, Kunqu opera experts gave professional assessments and appraisals to help artists perfect their performing skills.

On the sideline were an array of exhibitions, seminars, fan meetings, and networking activities for opera enthusiasts. Postcards and first-day covers (collectible envelopes) were made available for participants to mark the festival, which was inaugurated in 2000 as a triennial event to celebrate the progress made in the Kunqu opera art. It is sponsored by China's Ministry of Culture and the Jiangsu provincial government.

China has eight state-run Kunqu opera institutions, which are located in Suzhou, Kunshan and Nanjing in Jiangsu province; Yongjia and Hangzhou in Zhejiang province; Chenzhou in Hunan province; and the municipalities of Beijing and Shanghai. The Kunshan theater was newly established on Oct 12.

Originating in the late Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the ancient Kunqu opera influenced other opera forms, such as Sichuan opera and Peking opera, with its dynamic structure and melody (kunqiang).

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