New life for ancient operas in experimental festival

The 2018 Shanghai Experimental Xiqu (Traditional Opera) Festival will raise its curtain on December 5 at the newly renovated Changjiang Theater. 

A stage scene from the experimental Ouju Opera play “Shang Jue” 

The 2018 Shanghai Experimental Xiqu (Traditional Opera) Festival will raise its curtain on December 5 at the newly renovated Changjiang Theater. 

The festival is organized by the Shanghai Center of Chinese Operas and is in its fourth year. 

This year, eight performances covering Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera, Huaiju Opera, Yueju Opera and Ouju Opera will be staged during the 8-day festival. Experts will also gather and discuss the potential of experimental theater at a workshop on December 14.

Most of the plays are created by young artists. Some of the stories are told from the perspectives of urban people. 

The Yueju Opera “Legend of Meng Lijun” inspires audience to reflect on the destiny and emotions of today’s women.

The Kunqu play “Chang’an Snow” incorporates elements from mime and crosstalk — raw banter — while maintaining the elegance of Kunqu Opera.

The experimental Ouju Opera play “Shang Jue” offers a new interpretation of the story of King Lanling, a prince in the 5th Century. It is also a modern exploration of humanity.

 Gu Haohao, president of the Shanghai Center of Chinese Operas, says the festival is a platform for young talented artists to preserve and innovate traditional Chinese operas for contemporary audiences. They will also showcase the artists’ outstanding experimental works to the world.

Info

Date: December 5-13

Tel: 6329-0351

Venue: Changjiang Theater

Address: 35 Huanghe Rd

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