The Chang’an Grand Theater is one of Beijing’s most popular Peking opera arenas. Modern in design, it is regarded as one of the best theaters in terms of acoustics. This year marks the 20th anniversary of its relaunch. And to celebrate the occasion, all-time classic performances are being staged at the new state-of-the-art theater to the delight of Peking opera fans.
For many Peking opera fans, the Chang’an Grand Theater holds vivid memories of their favorite performers.
And for many performers, this theater houses their favorite stage.
As the sixth generation descendant of the Tan School, Tan Xiaozeng stood on different stages across the country. But Chang’an Grand Theater has always been his favorite.
“My father put the opera ‘Long Feng Cheng Xiang’ on Chang’an Grand Theater’s stage. Now performers of our generation are doing the same thing. Next year marks the 170th anniversary of the founding of the Tan School, and we are planning a series of operas to be staged here,” said Tan Xiaozeng.
Moved from the West to the East of Chang’an avenue, the theater reopened in 1996 following a three-year renovation.
It features modern facilities such as advanced highlights, a multi-functional stage as well as computer-controlled sound and light systems.
Many of China’s renowned Peking opera performers have witnessed its up-and-downs over the past several decades.
“The theater experienced a slump when it was relaunched. It took hard work to make it prosperous again over the past 20 years. Not only domestic actors — performers from all over the world take it as an honor to step on Chang’an’s stage,” said renowned Peking opera performer Zhao Baoxiu.
The theater has 800 seats, and over 4 million people from across the nation have spent their time in this Ming Dynasty style opera house.
“I came from Shanghai. My friend recommended Chang’an Grand Theater. I watched my first Peking opera at this theater and I fell in love with it ever since,” an opera fan told reporters.
“Many elderly opera lovers queue up to buy tickets, and the theater is always full,” said Zhao Hongtao, manager of Chang’an Grand Theater.
The theater has showcased the most famous Peking opera performances in Chinese history after its reopening 20 years ago, and is open to the public every day.
And apart from being one of the most popular theaters in China, the Chang’an Grand Theater is seen as quite important in terms of promoting traditional Chinese culture.