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Visionary Opera Boss Leads Traditional Troupe to Modern Success

Viewed 419 times 2018-12-13 17:14 |System category:News

Visionary Opera Boss Leads Traditional Troupe to Modern Success
Yisu Theatre performs in the countryside. [Xinhua]


Over the course of 40 years of reform and opening-up, a traditional theatre in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi, has experienced ups and downs and regained its glory under the leadership of its hardworking and persistent boss, Hui Minli.

Yisu Theatre, founded in 1912, is one of the oldest theaters of its kind in China. It has been run for the past nine years by Hui, who originally started out as a performer. 

Yisu recently won the Meihua Award, the highest award in Chinese opera art.

Hui is the 18th head and Party secretary of Yisu. When she was 15, she was admitted to a theatre school and graduated three years later. Then, she passed the entrance exam and became a full-time member.

After Hui entered Yisu, many prestigious opera artists offered to teach her various skills and often let her play the main role. She was deeply moved by their warmth and selflessness, she says.

In the early-90s, many employees left and went into business to make their fortunes elsewhere, influenced by trends in the market economy. Hui stayed on because she did not want to disappoint her teachers.

Nevertheless, Yisu was soon closed down by the local government. At this time, Hui chose to go to university to improve her learning.

She did not want to give up theatrical performing, thus she recorded tapes including 13 kinds of opera with the help of others.

In 2005, Yisu was incorporated in Xi'an Qinqiang Opera Theatre in Qujiang district, and Hui was promoted to the director of the enterprise four years later.

As a member of the theatre, Yisu encountered many troubles at the initial stage. Yet, Hui made a determined effort to lead her team towards improvements and perfection. 

In 2008, a collaboration lead to the production of a modern opera called Bride in Liuihe River performed by actors from Yisu. It proved to be a great success and carried off all the awards at the 4th Qinqiang Opera Art Festival held in northwest China's Gansu Province.

In recent years, especially since the Eighteenth National Congress of the Communist Party of China, due to the importance attached to traditional culture by the government and society, Hui has strived to help Yisu to seize the opportunity. They have rehearsed over 60 traditional operas and created 10 new ones. 

Moreover, Hui, along with her colleagues Li Shufang and Zhang Tao, received multiple awards in succession.

In October, her troupe went to Beijing and performed a run of 10 shows at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Peking University and other renown universities in the capital city. 

They received high praise and have already been making plans to tour Beijing again next August.

"When we saw so many people love Qinqiang Opera, we feel honored to perform and seemed to have found our own values," Hui said.


Visionary Opera Boss Leads Traditional Troupe to Modern Success
Hui Minli performs in an opera [Xinhua]


(Source: Xinhua/Translated and edited by Women of China)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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