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Fest of classic and modern operas
By Xu Wei

Famous artists and emerging talents will stage both traditional Chinese opera classics and innovative operas in a festival at the Yifu Theater from April to June.

Peking Opera, Kunqu Opera, Huju Opera and Yueju Opera will be performed, including classic excerpts. New interpretations will also be presented.

The festival is organized by the Shanghai Center of Chinese Operas.

Li Jun, a famed artist with the Shanghai Peking Opera Troupe, will present excerpts from "Legend of the Yang Family," "Story of an Empty City" and "Wu Zixu."

His singing will be accompanied by symphonic music.

Artists from Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe will perform an original work based on the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) novel "Ben-shi Poem." The story centers on the sad lives of three lonely maids in an imperial palace.

According to the Shen Yili, one of the performers, the show was well received by both critics and audience members when it premiered in Taiwan earlier this year.

"The emotions of the protagonists resonated in the hearts of people living in this fast-paced modern society," says Shen. "Loneliness is a common social and psychological problem that we confront."

Shanghai Huju Opera Troupe will perform "Sentinel Under the Neon Lights" about the ordinary good deeds performed by a company of the People's Liberation Army that entered Shanghai and were stationed in the heart of Nanjing Road in the 1950s.

Yueju Opera fans will see the new adaptation of the classic "Sisters on Stage." It revolves around a group of Yueju Opera singers who have devoted decades of their lives to the stage art. The new version is condensed and easier to understand. The stage effects re eye-catching.

In the three months, around 75 performances will be presented. Information and schedules are available at www.tianchan.com.

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