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Kunqu opera in natural setting

06-08-2010 08:56 BJT Special Report: Shanghai World Expo 2010 |

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The ancient romance "Peony Pavilion" is the most popular Kunqu opera by far. It's performed in and outside China. It's staged in theatres, on campuses, at clubs, and now for the first time in its 400-year history, the classic is being interpreted at an ancient garden near Shanghai.

No better stage can match the romance of "Peony Pavilion" than this old delicate garden. It's just in such a surrounding that the romance of the story takes place. In a dream at Peony Pavilion, Du Liniang falls in love with Liu Mengmei, who she never met in real life. Walking between life and death, their love story is entangled with domestic wars.

Musician said, "The inspiration of the art is perfectly combined with various forms, for instance the water, the breeze, the rocks, the bridges around you. I think it's a completely logical artistic choice that cannot be duplicated."

The ancient romance "Peony Pavilion" is the most popular Kunqu opera by far. It's performed in and outside China. It's staged in theatres, on campuses, at clubs, and now for the first time in its 400-year history, the classic is being interpreted at an ancient garden near Shanghai.
The ancient romance "Peony Pavilion" is the most popular Kunqu opera 
by far. It's performed in and outside China. It's staged in theatres, 
on campuses, at clubs, and now for the first time in its 400-year 
history, the classic is being interpreted at an ancient garden near 
Shanghai.

Written by China's contemporary to Shakespeare, Tang Xianzu, the Peony Pavilion was first performed at the end of the 16th century. Throughout that time, it's been part of the repertoire of Kunqu opera. As an inspiration for almost all kinds of China's traditional operas, Kungqu opera is the first item listed on UNESCO's list of oral and intangible cultural heritage.

Originally, the 55-act opera was staged for three consecutive nights. Now, it has been condensed and adapted into a nearly one-hour performance at Zhujiajiao near Shanghai. As one of the cultural events organized outside Expo Park, there will be 86 performances of the Kunqu Opera "Peony Pavilion" from June to October.

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