New initiative aims to popularize Peking opera with youth

Peking opera's hay day was well and truly in the past – the current market has declined substantially since younger generations just aren't captivated by it.
Ti Gong

Tencent-backed China Literature, a Chinese online publisher, has launched a project introducing Peking opera elements into stage plays, television dramas and games as a way of cultivating new fans.

The project is named "Liyuan Project" and will work with Mei Wei, the great-grandson of Peking opera master Mei Lanfang. Domestic artist Lin Ying will also participate.

According to the company, as one of the country's "Four Great National Quintessence," Peking Opera had its heyday in the past. The current market has declined substantially since younger generations just aren't captivated by it.

Then came the "Liyuan Project," which strives for revitalization of Peking opera to attract new audiences through things like games and television dramas. 

"Peking opera has a history of more than 120 years," Mei Wei said. "From Master Tan Xinpei (1847-1917) to my great grandfather Mei Lanfang until now, many Peking opera masterpieces have been left to us." 

Mei hopes that new ways of popularizing the opera can win over new fans and cultivate more interest in the traditional arts.

Our goal is to tell young people what Peking Opera is in a way they appreciate, so that they can better understand the art." Luo told Shanghai Daily.

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