Beijing Opera hits Athens stage to mark Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/9/19 2:44:29

"We are proud hosting this treasure of Chinese culture," Nicholas Theocarakis, chairman of the Athens Concert Hall, told Xinhua after watching Female Generals of the Yang Family, a classic masterpiece of Beijing Opera.

Artists from China National Peking Opera Company won the admiration and the warm applause of the Greek audience through their performance Sunday night at the concert hall, one of the most impressive venues of its kind in Greece and the world.

The electrifying performance was part of a series of events staged this year for the 2017 Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges and Culture Industry Cooperation.

It was the first time ever that the play was hosted in Greece with Greek subtitles.

The story of the strong and courageous Chinese women who safeguarded their homeland after their husbands, sons and fathers were killed heroically in battle moved the Greek spectators.

The impressive costumes and scenery, as well as the flawless singing, dancing and martial arts and acrobatics performance were also praised by the audience.

Like Theocarakis, spectators said they appreciated the exemplary sample of the Beijing Opera which is included since 2010 in UNESCO's world Intangible Cultural Heritage list and are eager to learn more about Chinese culture.

"I think the artists were excellent. We do not often have the chance to watch such events. I look forward to learning more (about Chinese culture) through such shows and events," Vassiliki Ligri told Xinhua.

Ligri and her friend who bought the tickets for the show were also impressed with the colorful Chinese traditional costumes used in opera which were put on display at the Athens Concert Hall on Sunday.

"Female Generals of the Yang Family is a very attractive piece of traditional Beijing Opera. It features Sheng (male role), Dan (female role), Jing (painted face), Chou (clown) -- all the four main type of characters in Beijing Opera, fully representing the opera's artistically charming," Liu Yupu, deputy director of China National Peking Opera Company told Xinhua.

"Greece is the birthplace of European civilization while China is one of the four ancient civilizations, thus I think it is our obligation to bring the quintessence of Chinese culture to the Greek audience," Liu said.

Zou Xiaoli, Chinese ambassador to Greece thanked the artists for overcoming the barriers of culture, language and nation, contributing greatly to the Greece-China Year of Cultural Exchanges

During 2017 Greece and China have organized several events to promote cultural exchange between the two peoples along cooperation in many other areas.

China is the honored country in the recently held 82nd Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) which is the largest on terms of participants and visitors in the past decade, according to the Greek organizers.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hailed Sino-Greek cooperation during the opening of China's pavilion at TIF in the northern city port of Thessaloniki.

Addressing the event, he praised China's Belt and Road initiative, reiterated Greece's strong support and underlined the key role Chinese investments hold in Greece's efforts to overcome the debt crisis and restore growth.

"We will quickly move forward, and via the collaboration with Chinese enterprises and Chinese investments here, to transform Greece into an international transport, trade and energy hub," the Greek prime minister said.


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