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Veteran artists revive traditional art in Beijing

The China Theater in Beijing has witnessed a celebration of Qinqiang opera, a thousand-year-old operatic genre originating in China’s northwest. Five veteran Qinqiang artists took the stage on Dec 3, to revive these ancient tunes.

Meet Yu Qiaoyun, the eldest performer of the night. She started performing Qinqiang opera when she was only ten years old. Now 83, she opens the show with the same enthusiasm.

“I’ve been performing my whole life. Now I have five proteges, and they’ve all found what suits them best. I think the key is to constantly perfect your performance, and not let fame and success get to your head,” she said.

Joining Yu Qiaoyun on stage were four other veteran artists, with an average age of 75.

The show also features a selection of classic Qinqiang operas.

“I hope there will be more interest in Qinqiang opera to learn from the established artists, and revive the art form,” said an audience member.

This is the first celebration of the Qinqiang opera since 2009’s Shanxi Qinqiang opera Week.

Qinqiang Opera boasts the most ancient, affluent and largest musical system of all Chinese operas, hence its reputation as the forefather of Chinese operas.