Sichuan Opera discovers the world's a stage

Updated: 2014-10-02 07:33

By Zheng Xin(China Daily)

Sichuan Opera discovers the world's a stage

An actor performs Sichuan opera at a local theater in Chengdu. [Photo by Zhu Xingxin/China Daily]

Traditional art form with a history dating back centuries hits a high note again, Zheng Xin reports.

Lei Yin knows the world is a stage for Sichuan Opera as its appeal is going global and audiences around the world discover its passion and technique. With a growing number of young people pursuing a career in opera, the ancient art form is embracing a dramatic revival, said Lei, head of the Chengdu Opera Art Research Institute.

"While we used to worry about inheriting the responsibility of managing a national intangible heritage, I'm more busy now planning the schedule for the institute's performances both at home and abroad," Lei said.

The opera's revival has coincided with Chengdu's growing international presence and this has greatly benefited the art form with centuries of history, he said.

Not too long ago, morale among the performers was low, and the Sichuan style of opera, with its intricate masks, swordplay, fire-spitting and face-changing seemed to have little appeal outside of a select band of enthusiasts.

"In the recent past, most of the members of the Chengdu Opera Art Research Institute were actors in their 50s or 60s," Lei said.

"But the infusion of fresh blood means now that the actors and actresses with the institute are in their 20s and 30s."

The opera is embracing a dramatic revival, he said.

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