Huju opera garden party held to promote Shanghai dialect and culture

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes was held inside an old villa in Xuhui District on Saturday to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.
Ti Gong

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes is held inside an old villa in Xuhui District to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes was held inside an old villa in Xuhui District on Saturday to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.

The Graceful Garden Party - Shanghai Opera & Story of the Old Villa was opened by Huju Opera, or Shanghai opera, performance adapted from "Thunderstorm," the best known classic play by Chinese dramatist Cao Yu, and participants learnt Shanghai dialect and Huju Opera during the party.


Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes is held inside an old villa in Xuhui District to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.

Garden party is a typical highlight of Shanghai Opera performances, which are sung in Shanghainese. The event attracted about 80 university students, including from Singapore and Turkey, and white-collar workers, many of whom are new to Shanghai but are interested in Shanghai dialect and culture.

All participants wore cheongsam or suits.

The venue of the garden party was Mansion Hotel Shanghai, the former site of the Sanxin Company founded by legendary Shanghai mafioso Du Yuesheng. It has more than 300 items dating to the 1930s, taking participants on a journey through time to old Shanghai. Its furniture and decoration all simulate the style of the 1930s and 1940s.

"Old villa is an important element in Shanghai culture and fits perfectly with Huju Opera performances," said Mao Shanyu, director of Shanghai Huju Theater. 

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes is held inside an old villa in Xuhui District to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.

The theater said it would regularly host garden parties that will include learning the Shanghai dialect, sharing Shanghai stories, tea art and cheongsam shows that blend Huju art to allow more people to savor the essence and charm of Shanghai culture.

"We hope to make the garden party an important platform to promote Huju Opera and local culture," said Mao.

Huju is an intangible cultural heritage protection project of China and it is known as "the voice of Shanghai."

The theater also hosts Shanghai dialect classes for children. 

Ti Gong

A garden party featuring Shanghai opera performances and classes is held inside an old villa in Xuhui District to promote Shanghai dialect and culture.


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