Kunju Opera, also known as Kunqu, originated at Kunshan of Jiangsu Province in the 16th century. It was the most influential opera genre during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). Nearly all today's operas with a comparatively long history have been influenced by Kunju Opera. Hence it has been reputed as Mother of Chinese Operas.
Initiated in 2000, China Kunju Opera Festival is sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Government of Jiangsu Province, Suzhou Municipal Government, and jointly organized by Kunju Opera Promoting Committee of the Ministry of Culture, Jiangsu Cultural Department, Suzhou Cultural Bureau, and Kunshan Municipal Government, with the assistance of Kunju Opera Research Organization, etc.
China Kunju Opera Festival aims at preserving and developing Kunju Opera while promoting the exchanges among Kunju Opera fans all over the world. Besides competitions, the festival also holds various exhibitions, celebration performances, seminars, parties and so on.