SICHUAN OPERA NOW PLAYING / By HC Editorial Department

Three hundred years ago, various melodic singings from other parts of China came to Sichuan and integrated with the local language. Sichuan Opera, which is unique in the Bashu Area, thus appeared. Drawing on the characteristics of five distinct opera styles - Gaoqiang(a high pitch), Kunqiang(Kunshan arias), Huqin voice(accompanied by a stringed instrument), Tanxi(accompanied by plucking instruments) and Dengdiao(latern operatic arias), Sichuan Opera boasts numerous repertoires, tunes and styles. The performances are just like the expression of Sichuan people's temperament, featuring rich language, smart elegance and humorous exaggeration. Sichuan Opera not only provides a way to touch the folk customs and a way of entertainment, but also tells the stories of classical literature works to cultivate tastes. As described in a poem created in the late Qing Dynasty, "you hear Dengdiao everywhere, and you see it sung by everyone". Today, Sichuan Opera is a representative of Sichuan culture, renowned for its unique skills in the world. Where to watch Sichuan Opera? People always ask this question when they come to Chengdu, which has become a proof of Sichuan Opera's popularity. Although the current popular culture is quite prevailing, it cannot replace the status of Sichuan Opera as a cultural symbol. In fact, Sichuan Opera is listed as the first-batch "China Intangible Cultural Heritage" in 2006. It has a long history, yet with great vitality. Enter the theater and you will see the dramatic conflicts brought by the script stories and the excellent performance staged by the artists with stunning singing skills and exciting stunts. Traditional as it is, Sichuan Opera is a representative Chinese opera full of vitality. Today, troupes are still updating the repertoire. Sichuan Opera is moving forward as always. As early as the first half of 2016, the State Council has approved the Chengdu-Chongqing Urban Agglomeration Development Plan and puts forward that Chengdu shall be constructed into a National Central City to enhance its role as a significant economic center, scientific and technological center, cultural creative center, international exchange center and comprehensive transportation hub in west China. As a National Central City under construction, traditional culture offers great confidence for the city in advancing toward a center for cultural creation and international exchanges. While preparing this feature, some Sichuan Opera performing artists told us that Chengdu attaches great importance to cultural heritage and provides very inclusive environment for culture development. Others said that there are much better opportunities and environment for development now. You see Sichuan Opera performing overseas far more often than before. There are even foreign students who want to learn Sichuan Opera. There is no groundless cultural innovation. Culture communication is also an important channel for international exchanges. We not only want you to learn more about Sichuan Opera, but also look forward to getting a glimpse of its future and a better city with you.

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