History and Culture

Peking Opera on big screen

2017-04-21 09:00:00 (Beijing Time)         China Daily

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A project has brought together top opera companies and movie studios to convert classic Peking Opera titles into feature-length movies, including The Mirror of Fortune and The Chinese Orphan. (Photo provided to China Daily)

For two days in a row recently, Peking Opera master Du Jinfang used a hearing aid to listen to speeches about the struggling art form at the ongoing 7th Beijing International Film Festival. After the speeches, the 85-year-old artist was a bit tired, but she was excited about the progress made by the Peking Opera Film Project, which brings together top opera companies and movie studios to convert classic shows into feature-length movies.

"I began to learn the opera as a 6-year-old, and took leads at 16. But most of the performers nowadays are in their 30s. We are short of replacements," she says.

"But thanks to the project, young performers will be encouraged and the opera will be revived," she adds.

Since 2011, the project has led to the production of 10 movies, such as Mu Guiying Assuming Command, The Chinese Orphan, The Mirror of Fortune and Xie Yaohuan. And six of them have been screened at international film festivals, bagging 13 awards.