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Central China City Builds Theme Park to Commemorate Late Peking Opera Master

updated: 2011-11-24

Xinhua, November 23, 2011
A traditional-style theater was put into practice Thursday in the central China city of Wuhan as part of a theme park project to commemorate late Peking Opera master Tan Xinpei.
The two-story theater, named for the artist, functions as both a teahouse and a performance venue, and can accommodate an audience of 500.
The cluster of buildings covering an area of 1,600 square meters reflects the style of the royal gardens in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The buildings are decorated with painted wood, carvings and reliefs as in traditional Chinese architecture.
"I am very happy to perform in a venue with such good conditions, and hope that Peking Opera performers from all around China can perform here to spread the traditional culture," said opera artist Mei Baojiu, the son of renowned Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang.
The theater is part of an ongoing project that started in 2008 in Wuhan, capital city of central Hubei province, to commemorate the great Peking Opera master Tan, a native of Wuhan's Jiangxia district.
Tan (1847-1917) was well-known for his elder bearded male roles in Peking Opera, or "Lao Sheng." He originated the Tan genre, a unique singing style carried into modern times by his offspring.
On Thursday night, the opening of the venue was marked by a series of plays staged by the Beijing Peking Opera Troupe, which being part of the 6th China Peking Opera Art Festival.

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