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Qinqiang Opera Festival opens in Xi'an

08-31-2010 08:48 BJT

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Qinqiang is a thousand-year-old operatic genre originating in China's northwestern region. It has established a reputation as a "shouted out" form of opera with its bold, resounding arias.

Currently, a Qinqiang Opera Festival has opened in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province.

Some of the most established Qinqiang opera artists sang their respective masterpieces at the festival's opening ceremony.

Most forms of Chinese opera owe their singing and acting styles, some of their melodies, and their plot-lines to the musically fertile Sha'anxi. The province is home to thousand-year-old Qinqiang folk melodies.

Qinqiang Opera Festival has opened in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province. 
Qinqiang Opera Festival has opened in Xi'an, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi 

Qinqiang is also called "random pluck." It's one of the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera, and thrives in the country's northwestern regions, like Gansu and Qinghai Provinces, and the Ningxia Hui and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regions.

This distinctive opera actually comes closer to local yodeling than real opera. It originated in the fields and countryside. Locals would shout out one to another across the fields, and they gradually developed a system of communication through song.

Qinqiang has evolved into an established theatre style, but retains its bold and rustic side. The pitch is extremely high and the aria timbre is loud and sonorous, keeping in tune with the forthright, valiant and industrious character of the local people.

And the people of Sha'anxi province love it. Residents of Xi'an take pride in their region as a historic center of Chinese civilization and in their distinctive traditions of folk singing.

During the festival, a grand choral singing of the opera comprising hundreds of Qinqiang fans will be held on the historic city walls of Xi'an.

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