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Zhouhuang's stunning ancient opera house reopens


Zhouzhuang Ancient Opera Stage reopened recently after three months of renovation work to restore the historic opera house to its former glory.

The newly decorated building has been renamed the Pear Garden and will soon begin to stage more elegant Kunqu Opera performances for opera fans and tourists alike.

Kunqu Opera, one of the oldest forms of Chinese opera, originates from Kunshan, the city in Jiangsu province that administers Zhouzhuang.

According to Zhouzhuang's official annals, Kunqu Opera had already become popular in the water town during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was listed as one of the "eight most beautiful scenes of Zhouzhuang".

Kunqu has remained popular in Zhouzhuang through the centuries and is now regarded as forming an integral part of water town's culture.

Its quietly melodious singing and magnificent costumes and accessories make Kunqu a magnet for many a weary traveller to rest their legs and immerse themselves in its unique charm.

In addition to Kunqu, visitors to the Pear Garden will also be able to enjoy Wuxi Opera.

Wuxi Opera, which originates from the nearby city of Wuxi, mainly tells stories of everyday life in the Chinese countryside. Its operas are famous for being simple, sincere, humorous and vivid in language, making them easily accessible for audiences.

Visitors to the Pear Garden are able to enjoy Kunqu Opera every day of the week except Thursday, which is reserved for Wuxi Opera.

There are two performances per day, with the matinee performance starting from 10 am and the afternoon show beginning at 2 am. Each show lasts about one hour.

Zhouhuang's stunning ancient opera house reopens

Pear Garden, previously known as Zhouzhuang Ancient Opera Stage, shines even more brightly after three months of renovation work. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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