Yuju Opera and Calligraphy Workshop debut at China Cultural Center in Paris

Print Share Updated: 2024-07-03 17:15

The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France and the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. The 33rd Summer Olympic Games will open in Paris on July 26.

As an integral component of Chinese operas' tour in France during the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism, the "Lanting Cultural Salon" China's Yuju Opera and Calligraphy Workshop kicked off at the China Cultural Center in Paris on June 30.

The opening ceremony was attended by Liu Hongge, director of the China Cultural Center in Paris; Ji Suchen, deputy general-manager of China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG); Wang Lu, general-manager of China Performing Arts Agency; Qiu Guangyu, deputy general-manager of Kaifeng Culture and Tourism Investment Corporation; Jiang Bin, general-manager of Kaifeng Culture and Tourism Co., Ltd; and Liu Chaofeng, president of Kaifeng Junfeng Cultural Exchange and Communication Co., Ltd.

It also invited over 100 French people to participate in the event, experience the special charm of Chinese Yuju Opera, gain an insight of the profound and unique historical and cultural deposit of Henan.

Accompanied by a melodious opera tune, Wu Suzhen, deputy head of the First Sub-branch of Yuju Opera, artistic supervisor of Suzhen Arts Performing Troupe, and recipient of the 29th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Opera, gave her show in a graceful manner of Qingyi (a young female character) and greeted the French audience with melodious tunes at the opening ceremony.

As the third-generation inheritor of the Chen School of Yuju Opera, Wu began to study the special performing art at the childhood and learned from a number of opera masters in the fields of Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera and other schools of Yuju Opera at the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts.

Wu has dedicated herself to the inheritance and promotion of Yuju Opera and become a brilliant figure in the special performing art under professional guidance, personal insight and persistent performance.

In her show, Wu gave an in-depth interpretation of the general development, unique characteristics and performing techniques of Chinese operas through the performance of classical Chen-school drama titled the Palace of King Fan. She also taught the French audience about Chinese operas and held closer interactions with them.

At an interview, two French people Poncelé and Olivier said that elaborate costumes and complicated gestures were their only impression of the Chinese operas in the past. They explained that the latest show has helped them grasp a deep understanding of the Chinese operas, which can convey different emotions via various stage performances and create boundless imagination space for the audiences with simple props.

The Chinese operas are an art that go beyond national borders, they added during the interview.

At the climax of the entire event, two French children dressed in traditional Chinese opera make-up and costumes, leaving a deep impression on the Fench audience. One girl of them said that each step of the opera make-up looked like artistic creation and that it had further raised her interest in learning the Chinese culture.

At last, Wu presented a piece show of the Palace of King Fan: Missing the Cloud, which narrated a traditional Chinese love story and portrayed the deep love of a woman toward her beloved.

In the calligraphy exhibition area, Li Jian, member of the Chinese Calligraphers Association and a renowned calligrapher, showcased the slim gold-style calligraphy that can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The vivid and distinctive calligraphy pieces wooed the attention of the French audience, many people of whom learned Chinese calligraphy and personally appreciated its special charm on the spot.

After the conclusion of its first leg in Paris, the French tour of Yuju Opera will be held on the sidelines of the Avignon Theatre Festival, one of the world's three major theater events. From July 3 to 21, Wu is expected to give her shows of classical Yuju Opera programs, which included the Picking of Jade Bracelet, the Edge of the Universe, and the Palace of King Fan at the Présence Pasteur Theater, and take part in cultural exchange activities at Yuju Opera workshop there.

The French tour of Yuju Opera is jointly organized by the CAEG and Kaifeng Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism, and undertaken by Kaifeng Culture and Tourism Investment Corporation and China Performing Arts Agency. Suzhen Troupe of Performing Arts gave its show during the overseas tour.

It was one of major cultural exchange programs launched by the CAEG to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and France.