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A magical night at the theatre

One of the reasons I came to Hangzhou and why I would like to stay here for much longer is that there is a lot of culture here. However, for a while I've been thinking that there's something wrong. There are several theatres and concert halls in Hangzhou and from time to time, I hear about some concert or event but when I ask people I know hardly anybody seems to actually go to them.

Some people say that the events are too expensive while others say that they aren't interested in Chinese opera or classical music. There also seems to be the feeling that these are elitist activities and not really something for ordinary people to go and see or hear. In Britain some people also feel the same about opera and ballet but there are also many other events which people go to.

Now the pricing of tickets is sometimes an issue as some tickets for concerts are quite expensive, over 100 yuan with a lack of tickets at affordable prices. However, I really miss going to the theatre, to concerts or even the cinema, as in England I might go to an event almost once a week. That’s maybe a bit more than average but having such a rich cultural life is something that should be possible in a city like Hangzhou.

Anyway, last time I passed by Hangzhou Theatre in Wulin Square I picked up a leaflet and I was delighted to find out that they do have several events that are reasonably priced, specifically to allow ordinary people to come and watch. Then I asked at the Zhejiang Music Hall and they also have similarly priced events, so for the last few weeks I've been going to the theatre with most tickets only costing between 30 and 50 yuan.

Now I'm no expert of Chinese music but slowly I'm beginning to appreciate Chinese folk music and instruments such as the erhu and guqin. One memorable concert I attended was a performance by the Zhejiang Folk Music Group who also tour in Europe. They introduced many different pieces and it was very entertaining; at one point the flutist Mr Jiang, played on the longest flute in the world. Well, I'm looking forward to more concerts and events and hope to see you there too.

By Arthur J from England

Source: City Express

Editor: Feng Hui

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