Chinese traditional operas struggle to survive

( ) Updated: 2015-09-10 17:17:02

Chinese traditional operas struggle to survive

Kun Opera performers have the make-up applied backstage in Chenzhou, Central China's Hunan province, November 27, 2014. [Photo/]

The Beijing Youth Daily on Thursday called attention to the struggles of traditional operas in China.

The newspaper said the number of unique traditional Chinese opera styles had decreased to 286 from the 368 in 1959, with three disappearing every two years on average. Altogether, 74 opera styles had only one troupe left, and most were at risk of fading away.

Xie Boliang, a professor at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts, said it is well known that people should be held accountable for soil erosion, but why do we feel at ease when traditional operas fade away?

Overwhelmed by modern culture and entertainment such as movies, TV programs and pop music, traditional Chinese operas have been severely marginalized.Despite being included on the state-level Intangible Cultural Heritage list, some operas still have no place to perform.

Because of the market slump and low salaries, more traditional Chinese opera practitioners are finding other work, as are many directors and playwrights. Sun Jiazheng, chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, said traditional operas are important carriers of Chinese culture, and should be preserved.

The State Council issued a circular in July calling for the promotion and protection of Chinese traditional operas, saying that it would allocate financial support and extend preferential policies to opera troupes and schools.

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