Shaolin drama "Soul of Shaolin" is performed in Venice, Italy, on Jan. 18, 2018. Chinese artists performed engagingly at the famous La Fenice Opera House in Italy's lagoon city of Venice Thursday, on the eve of the official launch of the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year. (Xinhua/Jin Yu)
VENICE, Italy, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chinese artists performed engagingly at the famous La Fenice Opera House in Italy's lagoon city of Venice on Thursday, on the eve of the official launch of the 2018 China-EU Tourism Year.
Organized by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in collaboration with Italian authorities, the gala event brought first to the stage the renowned Peking Opera artist Yuan Huiqin.
She engaged a large audience of Chinese, Italian, and European guests with a refined exhibition, adapted for the first time from the lyric "Travelling around the world."
Yuan was followed by a captivating play by Shaolin performers with the drama "Soul of Shaolin", telling "a touching story about loss and reunion" between a child and his mother.
The play has been performed more than 500 times worldwide, since its first version was created in 2003, according to the presentation.
Revised for the ninth time in 2016, it was put on stage by a group of selected trainees from the Shaolin Temple Wushu Training Center based in Dengfeng in China's Henan province.
From La Fenice theatre -- considered one of Venice's most prestigious venues -- Chinese and European authorities also gave their short opening greetings before the show.
Both Vice Chairman of China National Tourism Administration Du Jiang, and European Commissioner for internal market, industry, entrepreneurship and SMEs, Elzbieta Bienkowska, stressed the relevance of the major event that was about to be inaugurated on Friday.
The 2018 China-EU Tourism Year would mark a key opportunity from both sides to boost the exchange of visitors, but also to refine attraction strategies, and promote more business contacts, both the officials said.
In short, it would provide a good chance to boost economy, along with cultural ties.