Newly adapted Qinqiang drama ‘Journey of Zhaojun’ comes to Beijing
Published: Apr 11, 2023 11:04 PM
Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

Photo: Lu Wenao/GT

A newly adapted Qinqiang Opera drama Journey of Zhaojun is set to hit the stage on Wednesday and Thursday at the Grand Theater of the Cultural Palace of Nationalities in Beijing, with organizers aiming to draw in a wider and younger audience through traditional Chinese folk stories.

Zhaojun refers to Wang Zhaojun, one of the "Four Beauties" of ancient China. Born in Zigui in today's Central China's Hubei Province during the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-AD25), she was sent by the emperor to marry Chanyu Huhanye of the Xiongnu tribe as part of peace efforts. Her sacrifice is celebrated as an act of patriotism and selflessness.

Qinqiang Opera is a representative genre of Chinese folk opera that originated in North China's Shaanxi Province. The famous Yisu Theater, which was established in 1912 in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi and known for its Qinqiang shows, orchestrated the new adaption. 

Stories about Zhaojun's journey are popular just as popular in modern China as they were in ancient times, taking the form of numerous poems, plays, novels, films and TV series. 

Hui Minli, chief of the Yisu Theater and the actress who plays Wang Zhaojun in the show, said that it is important to notice that the play calls for peace and objects to war. She the opera underlines the consciousness of national unity as its main theme and celebrates national unity. 

It also shows concern, reflection, and compassion for the themes of war and peace, pursuing the values of Chinese aesthetics, contemporary concepts, and humanistic values, she noted. 

Liu Enping, the script writer for the opera, told the Global Times that the Qinqiang Opera adaption first started three years ago and that they worked to base the story as much as they could on recorded history instead of piecing together their own deductions, which distinguishes this adaptation from others.