Tongji university promotes Peking opera in Florence
Updated: 2018-05-23

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Shanghai-based Tongji University launches a series of Peking opera-focused cultural activities in Florence, Italy, from May 10 to 11. [Photo/chinanews.com]

Tongji University, which is situated in Shanghai, launched a series of Peking opera-focused cultural activities in Florence, Italy, from May 10 to 11.

The two-day event was co-organized by Tongji, Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company, Radio and Television Shanghai, and Shanghai Media Group, and also got the support of the Chinese Consulate-General in Florence.

The event was held with the hope of exposing traditional Chinese culture to a broader audience worldwide and to further promote Sino-Italian cultural exchanges.

Peking opera is a form of Chinese opera that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It was extremely popular in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) court and has come to be regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.

The activities included the premiere of a 3D Peking opera movie Farewell My Concubine in Florence, a lecture given by famous Chinese Peking opera artists Shang Changrong and Shi Yihong, and Peking opera performances staged by Tongji's students at a high school and university in Florence, which attracted a large number of enthusiasts of Chinese culture.

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Shi Yihong, a renowned Peking opera artist, introduces four major roles of Peking opera - sheng (male role), dan (female role), jing (painted-face male role) and chou (comic role) - to the audience in Florence, Italy, on May 11. [Photo/chinanews.com]

Chang, the Chinese Peking opera artist, explained that Peking opera to China is like opera to Italy, both of which are treasures of the two countries' cultures.

Christopher, an Italian who watched the movie, also considered that Chinese Peking opera and Italian opera have similarities, and admired Chinese people's integration of film art and national tradition, and thought the integration is a good way of promoting Italian opera.

Valentina, a student at the Confucius Institute of the University of Florence, exclaimed, “This is the first time that I get to see the Peking opera so closely. It is marvelous, with gorgeous costume and beautiful singing. I love Chinese Peking opera. ”

Cai Xiaojun, a Tongji student and an actor of the Peking opera performances, said that she was proud to be part of the group from China promoting Peking opera in Florence.

Giorgia Giovannetti, vice president of the University of Florence, spoke highly of this event and expected more such cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Tongji University has always attached great importance to the inheritance of traditional Chinese culture, and international cultural exchanges. It has built a Peking opera and Kunqu opera inheritance base and a folk opera practice base for university students in Shanghai. It has staged Peking opera and Kunqu opera performances in Russia, Germany, South Korea, and some other countries.

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An Italian learns some movements of Peking opera from the performers. [Photo/chinanews.com]

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