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Young people embrace traditional Chinese opera thanks to inheritance efforts

2023-12-01

Traditional Chinese operas, often seen as a pastime for older generations, are gaining popularity as the boundaries of this art form expand, opening up new possibilities.

Opera is deeply rooted in Chinese culture, requiring only an opportunity to awaken people's interest.

A recent Yue opera performance titled "New Dragon Gate Inn" has gone viral, with the captivating portrayal of Chen Lijun, a Yue opera actress who plays a male character, impressing many.

Chen's exceptional performance has brought attention and recognition to Yue opera, the second-largest opera genre in China with over 100 years of history.

Chen Lijun, a Yue opera actress, performs during "New Dragon Gate Inn". (Photo/CCTV News)

"Fan Zhongyu Beaten and Thrown into a Crate," a performance of Gui opera, a traditional opera originating in Guilin city in China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, has also captivated young audiences.

This show represents one of the most challenging skills in the opera world. It tests not only the physical agility, vocal skills, and acting abilities of actors and actresses but also their willpower and perseverance.

One of the most grounded traditional Chinese operas is Yu opera, an opera genre from central China's Henan Province.

In the summer of 2023, young actors and actresses from a Yu opera troupe in Anyang, Henan, staged performances for villagers in hot weather. Despite sweating and struggling to breathe, they persisted, completing their performances before taking a break.

The young performers remarked, "It's not just us who feel the heat. All the actors and actresses in the troupe, as well as the audience, endure the high temperatures while performing or watching the show. The value of opera art extends beyond monetary gain."

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