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Opera about famous Shanghai tailors

(Shanghai Daily)

10:03, May 22, 2013

An original opera about a famous tailor group in Shanghai, "Hong Bang Tailors," will recall stories of old Shanghai and the first Western suits or Sun Yat-sen jackets.

"Hong Bang Tailors" will be presented by Beijing's Central Opera House at Shanghai Culture Center on May 26 and 27. Well-known sopranos Yao Hong and Ruan Yuqun will sing lead roles.

Hongbang tailors (hong meaning red and bang meaning group) refers to tailors who made clothes for Westerners, at the time known for their red hair.

The group that came to be known as hongbang tailors moved from Ningbo in Zhejiang Province to Shanghai at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Though tailoring was low-paying and labor-intensive, they managed to do well, attracting many relatives and friends to join them in Shanghai.

The group made important contributions to China's garment industry, making the first Western suit and the first Chinese tunic suit, often called the Sun Yat-sen jacket, and opening the first Western-style clothing shop.

The opera tells the story of competition between the hongbang tailors and local Shanghai tailors, as well as the birth of the Chinese tunic suit, that combined Chinese tradition and Western street wear.

The was written after comprehensive study of the history of hongbang tailors and the clothing industry in Shanghai and Ningbo, according to Zou Jianhong of the Ningbo Performance and Art Group who invested the opera.

The opera will feature areas and popular folk tunes of Ningbo and Shanghai.

Date: May 26-27, 7:15pm

Venue: Shanghai Culture Square, 38 Yongjia Rd

Tickets: 120-880 yuan

Tel: 962-388

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiXiang、Ye Xin)

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