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Qinqiang Opera Urged to Apply for World Intangible and Oral Culture Heritage
At the First Session of the Ninth Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Wei Xiaoli, a Qinqiang Opera singer, gave a speech about the situation of Qinqiang Opera. Her eyes were full of tears when she mentioned the bleak future of the ancient art of performance. Seeing the importance to protect it and help it revitalize, the participants at the meeting all agreed Qinqiang should apply for being listed as UNESCO World Intangible and Oral Culture Heritage. This is the second case of a Chinese opera applying for this recognition, after the success of Kunqu Opera.

Qinqiang is the representative folk opera of Shaanxi Province. Its melodies were originated from the rural areas surrounding Xi'an, capital of the province. In ancient times, when peasants did farm work, they had to shout to one another across the wide fields. Gradually, a series of songs were developed for them to communicate.

Opera specialists hold that the application will very much likely succeed. Like Kunqu Opera, Qinqiang is also one of the oldest, most affluent operas in China. It has a complete tone system and unique art style. Its singing is sonorous, bold and touching; its music is colorful and elegant; and the performance as a whole is plain, exquisite and lively. Furthermore, it has such unique performing kills as pouring out fire from the mouth and making the hat dancing on the head. In short, Qinqiang is as good as Kunqu as a cultural heritage.

(China.org.cn by Chen Lin, January 22, 2003)

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