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When Snuff Bottles saved Quju Opera

Updated: 2015-09-16 15:04:06

( chinadaily.com.cn )

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A scene from Snuff Bottles. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Gu, in his 80s, a director from the Beijing People's Art Theater, says: "Before Snuff Bottles, I had never directed Quju Opera shows. On the first day of our rehearsal, I found that Quju Opera so interesting.

"I am a Beijing native. All the details, such as the music and dialogue, were so familiar to me. The show looks like a painting about old Beijing. That's why it connected with the audiences."

According to Sun Dongxing, the director of the Beijing Quju Opera Troupe, Snuff Bottles has been performed nearly 400 times and has been viewed by around 170,000 people. It has also won the troupe top national opera wards, such as Wenhua Prize and the first Golden Chrysanthemum Prize.

"The show injected energy into the troupe. It also laid the foundation for the style of Quju Opera, which showcases traditional Beijing culture, such as the dialect and humor, and focuses on portraying characters with stories happening in Beijing," Sun says.

Sun says that during the past 20 years, three generations of actors of the Beijing Quju Opera Troupe — which was founded in 1959 — have performed Snuff Bottles.

With more young Quju Opera graduates joining the troupe, the show will be revived with contemporary elements while maintaining its unique artistic charm.

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