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Old opera meets its spring in Hubei with youngsters | Updated: 2016-10-10 15:40
Old opera meets its spring in Hubei with youngsters

Students perform traditional operas in Xiangyang in Hubei, Sept 1, 2016. [Photo/]

Wearing bright red costumes, a group of young students performed Huangmei opera at Qiyi High School in Wuhan, Hubei province.

This is a project for promoting traditional Chinese operas among youngsters in Hubei province and teaching them more about the charm of operas.

At present, students of different ages from 8,300 schools in Wuhan have engaged in the project.

"We are trying our best to promote the inheritance of traditional operas through some practical plans and measures," said Liang Weinian, minister of Hubei Provincial Publicity Department.

A series of opera performances have been staged at thousands of schools in Wuhan since May, covering 70% of the planned schools.

The project also intends to allow each student and his or her parents to watch at least one performance for free.

Zhu Shihui, a celebrated opera performer and artist, also went to 11 high schools and universities, performing many classic operas for the young students.

"Unlike before when we waited for people to come to the theatre, now we go to schools to perform or bring the young to the performances," said Wang Lixin, deputy president of Wuhan Chinese Opera Theater.

In Xiaogan county of Wuhan, some 200 professional performers gave both lectures and performances to the students.

The project also saw the collaboration of a group of intangible cultural heritage inheritors and opera societies.

"Opera performing is difficult, and learning the skill needs very strong willpower," said Lui Mingzhe, a 14 year-old student who tried to perform some operas.

The Wuhan government also set up a special fund to support the opera promotion project. And a book about traditional Chinese opera, especially about 30 Hubei local operas, has been printed and sent to each student in Wuhan. Pictures and videos in the book give students a more vivid view of the operas.

Now each university in Hubei has its own opera society, and 15 of them have become opera allies. Opera also has been set as optional class for the students who were inspired to study and create their own works.

Meanwhile, the Hubei government organized many opera festivals to give young people a larger stage to show their talents in traditional operas.

"The opera promotion project is not about academic lectures nor training classes, but nurturing a group of people who love operas and also know how to appreciate the beauty of operas. I am positive towards the future of our traditional operas," said He Zuohuan, a national first-class opera performer from Wuhan.

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