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Tibetan Opera to return to center stage (3)

(China Daily)

13:24, December 29, 2012

More modern methods should be combined with traditional teaching. Students should also know operatic theories, the different schools of Tibetan Opera, and develop their creativity, Gesang Choegyal said.

Students receiving an all-round arts education will make first-rate performers and researchers, both of which are in high demand in Tibet.

Research into Tibetan Opera is limited because only a small number of people focus on this field. Among them, many cannot sing Tibetan Opera, or do not speak the Tibetan language, he said.

Feng Bo, a senior manager at a company running two Tibetan Opera troupes in Lhasa, capital of the autonomous region, said she would be interested in hiring graduates trained at top art schools.

She said the troupes' major audiences are tourists.

The company will soon hire more talent to boost its appeal. Another company in Lhasa is planning performance tours to introduce Tibetan Opera to a wider audience, Feng said.

Yue Weishan, leader of a Liuzi Opera troupe in Jinan, Shandong province, said he looked forward to the joint bachelor's degree program with the academy. He said six students from his troupe will be selected to attend the academy in 2013.

Liuzi Opera has suffered from a serious decline and Yue's troupe, established in 1959, is the only one left in China.

The genre began a slow revival after it was recognized as State-level intangible cultural heritage in 2006. But talent and qualified teachers remain scarce, Yue said.

Students will learn more techniques at the academy and reach larger audiences by performing at the most respected theaters in Beijing, such as the National Center for the Performing Arts and the Meilanfang Theater, he said.

But the program is not all about learning new techniques. Seasoned artists from Yue's troupe will continue to coach the students and ensure the distinct local characteristics of Liuzi Opera are not lost, he said.

Daqiong in Lhasa contributed to this story.

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