Feature: Chinese opera artists bring show at Greece's Aeschylus Festival

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-29 01:33:12|Editor: yan
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by Maria Spiliopoulou, Valentini Anagnostopoulou

ELEFSINA, Greece, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- A troupe of artists from China's renowned Huangmei Anhui Opera Theater gave a performance of the classic play "Marriage of the Fairy Princess" on Sunday during one of Greece's most prestigious cultural festivals.

Spectators at the old oil mill of Elefsina, the main venue of Aeschylus Festival, were treated to singing and dancing and the plot of a centuries-old tale.

The festival takes place 17-km southwest of Athens in the city where ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus was born 2,500 years ago. It was here the Chinese artists presented a masterpiece of one of China's most important opera styles in the past two centuries.

Sunday's show was one of the highlights of the 60 theatrical, dance and music performances, visual art exhibitions and other art events included in the festival's program this summer, organizers said.

It was staged as the two countries celebrate the China-Greece cultural exchanges and culture industry cooperation year in 2017.

After the twinning of Elefsina and China's Haicheng city in 2014, it is the fourth consecutive year the Greek festival has hosted a Chinese cultural production.

"Anhui Huangmei Opera's performance in Greece represents a culture exchange and interaction between the East and the West," said Dong Qing, president of the Association of Anhui Arts.

"Huangmei opera is one of the five main operas of China. We are very proud to introduce this to the world on behalf of Anhui Province and China," leading actress Yuan Yuan told Xinhua.

Huangmei Anhui Opera Theater troupe has promoted China's traditional artform worldwide with great success, and the 28-year-old actress said she felt honored to be part of this history since she was 8 years old.

Among the Greek spectators who enjoyed the performance was Elefsina Mayor Yorgos Tsoukalas.

Speaking to Xinhua, he expressed eagerness to further enhance ties between his municipality, one of Greece's main industrial zones, and China.

"After Elefsina was chosen as European Cultural Capital, we want to come in closer contact with other civilizations...The Chinese civilization is one of the most important in antiquity and modern times and from this point of view, we are trying to learn from the Chinese theater and Chinese peoples' views in the past and today," Tsoukalas said.

Elefsina has been declared European Capital of Culture for 2021.

"Our festival is a festival with a 43-year-long history which has preserved its values and is constantly improving...Our aim is to make culture a way of living for the people of Elefsina," Konstantina Marougka, the festival's spokesperson added.

Elefsina focuses on deepening its ties in particular with China, one of the greatest ancient civilizations, Marougka underlined.

As part of the Aeschylus Festival this year, Elefsina is also hosting an exhibition of Chinese opera costumes until Sept. 9.