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‘Gateway to Art’ opens for families with little ones

With “Gateway to Art”, which opened on July 3 in the Forbidden City Concert Hall, China’s capital has some special offerings for the little ones. The two-month event features an eclectic mix of performances with some pleasing ticket prices to boot.

A family night out to a concert on a budget of under 100 yuan ($16.11). Sound too good to be true? Well, that’s what’s on offer at The Forbidden City Concert Hall as “Gateway to Art” returns for its 21st incarnation.

Tan Lihua, director of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, initiated the summer festival 21 years ago. It only consisted of music concerts then, but has since grown in scale and influence to stage 60 performances this year across a range of artforms.

“We initiated the festival as we thought people can be cultivated through music. For the past two decades, the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and I have performed either for the opening or closing ceremony. The festival has grown from simply including music concerts and now encompasses plays, dance, opera, acrobatics, etc. It’s rare to see something on such a scale anywhere in the world,” Tan said.

The kid-friendly bill includes Suppe’s ‘Light Cavalry’, Tchaikovsky’s ‘Nutcracker’, Strauss’s ‘Pizzicato-Polka’, and Bizet’s prelude to ‘Carmen’. But there’s more! Tan also held a lucky draw for tickets to summer camps, which are also part of the event, and free cups of Baxy ice-cream, a sponsor of the event.

“Gateway to Art” has proved popular among Beijing locals, especially families with little ones.

With the principle “high standard, low prices”, the festival has become a famed brand among Beijing locals.

Participating troupes and artists, from both home and abroad, are also taking lower payments, which makes the low prices possible.