Lhasa travel, Tibet travel news – Tibetan opera meets prosperity

BEIJING, Jan. 26 — Tibetan opera is an ancient traditional Chinese ethnic minority art form that has developed over centuries. Hailed as “the living fossil of traditional Tibetan culture”, it boasts a history of more than 600 years — about 400 years longer than China’s national treasure, the Peking Opera. It is a kind of art combining folk dance, singing and vocal performance in one.

With finery costume and resounding aria, Tibetan opera, which is wide in content and various in types of literature, has long been cherished by Tibetan people. It is said that wherever you find Tibetan people, you will find Tibetan opera.

The pieces “Princess Wencheng”, “Prince Nuosang” and “Drowa Sangmo” are played across Tibet Autonomous Region and its neighboring Tibetan-inhabited areas in provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Sichuan.

Impacted by the modernization and globalization, Tibetan opera, like other traditional culture, faces difficulty in developing and carrying forward. Both central government and local government of Tibet have given importance to its preservation and development ever since the peaceful liberation of Tibet and China’s reform and opening-up in particular.

More opera creations, professional artists, achievements, theatres are coming forth against the background.

Taking the advantage of prevailing wind of intangible cultural heritage, Tibetan opera has entered into a fast as well as overall protection period. Some items were among the first batch of Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection List and more special funds were allocated in succession to ensure an effective and sustaining preservation.

Studying of production, history, development of Tibetan opera has never stopped as collecting, recording as well as publishing relative documents always continue. Tibetan opera is also taught in some primary and middle schools to bring up more professionals.

The ancient folk art is gradually coming to the public and acclaimed by domestic and foreign audiences outside Tibetan-inhabited areas while promotional performances across China and even the world are made.

The Peking-Tibetan opera “Princess Wencheng” received raves when touring across the country. In September 2008, Tibetan opera applied for the “Human being Intangible Cultural Heritage List” of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

(Source: China Tibet Information Center)