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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Campus
CUHK students fascinated with Kunqu Opera
    2017-June-14  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Since the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) together with Shanghai Theater Academy ran a course on Kunqu opera in 2014, the university has produced a number of students who have become obsessed with this traditional Chinese form of opera.

This is also the first time in the university’s history to offer credits for opera courses. The teachers from Shanghai go to Hong Kong once every two weeks to teach a six-hour course which covers the basic theories of Kunqu opera and gives students opportunities to learn the skills and perform. Now the students have become huge fans of the opera and are quickly becoming the backbone of the opera community in Hong Kong.

Chen Jianzhang is one of those students. Chen is a finance major at the university, but in the rehearsal room, he is a professional Kunqu opera actor playing the role of a man in the classic “Sifan,” or “The Nun Dreams of the Secular Life.” As an intern in a bank in Hong Kong last summer, Chen was not allowed to ask for leave, so he had to fly back and forth between Hong Kong and Shanghai to study opera on the weekends. This April, Chen and his 16 classmates once again embarked on their journey to Shanghai to study Kunqu opera.

Before the official introduction of the Kunqu opera course in 2015, a trial course on the opera initiated by Dr. Lee Woo-sing and Dr. Koo Ti-hua was held in 2014. Lee is the founder of Lee Woo-sing College which teaches the course and Koo is a member of the Culture Committee of UNESCO Hong Kong Association and a student of Kunqu master Yu Zhenfei.

According to Koo, in just two years, the course has become so popular that it often has a full classroom. “At the beginning, there were only a dozen of students, but last semester we had 130 students signing up for the course but eventually we narrowed it down to 37 after a strict screening process. Everyone including those from outside the university were once welcome to take the course, but now it is only open to students and alumni of the university due to the limited size of the classroom,” Koo said.

“These students take this course very seriously and they are even more hardworking than some opera majors,” Pan Jiehua, a teacher from Shanghai Theater Academy.

However, in Lee and Koo’s eyes, more parties including the government and society in general should become involved in the cause of promoting Kunqu opera.

Kunqu represents the essence of traditional Chinese performance arts, an artistic blend of poetry, painting, music, singing, dance and drama. Its achievements in the realms of literature, drama, music and fine arts have nurtured every Chinese opera form, earning Kunqu the title of “the mother of a hundred opera forms.” In 2001, Kunqu was recognized by UNESCO as one of the inaugural “Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,” the highest honor bestowed upon Kunqu yet.

(Yang Mei)

 

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