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Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera revisited in Suzhou

Great opera singers of China, representing many different genres of the art, have converged in Suzhou, Jiangsu province. In all, 39 companies came from all over the country for the 14th China Opera Festival.

When it comes to evoking the mystery and charm of ancient China, few art forms can compare to Chinese Opera.

More than 20 different genres were staged at Suzhou, including Kunqu Opera and Peking Opera. Hitherto, some of the pieces were virtually unheard outside their hometowns.

“I’ve brought a comedic opera originating from Suzhou, and I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” said Gu Xiang, Plum Blossom Prize winner.

The dedication of artists like Gu is restoring the ancient lustre of these cultural gems.

“The plot and the singing stay true to the original opera, but the lighting and staging are much better,” a visitor said.

The cultural legacy of Peking Opera is particularly at stake, pursued through a combination of tradition and innovation.

“Through events like this, we’re glad to see a growing interest in Peking Opera among the younger generation, because they hold the key to the opera’s future,” said Pei Yanling, Plum Blossom Prize winner.

Originating in 1988, the China Opera Festival is held every two years, and its influence is continuing to grow.