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Sichuan Opera Heralds Stage Experiment

Adapted from Chinese literary giant Cao Yu's controversial stage drama Wilderness, the Sichuan opera Jin Zi is wooing audience and critics with its exploration of the tumultuous inner universe of the female protagonist Jin Zi.

Her tragic experience of love speaks for a generation of Chinese women living in rural China from the 1920s to the 1940s. The opera stands a strong chance of being recognized as a stage classic and reaping generous government grants.

The original drama focused on Qiu Hu, the leading male role who escaped from ten years' imprisonment to settle scores with the son of his tormentor. What happened to Qiu Hu's lover Jin Zi was treated as part of that struggle.

The adaptation instead unravels around Jin Zi. Her fearless pursuit of true love, her relentless rebellion against repression and her undaunted hope for a bright future has given the opera a whole new meaning. The successful combination of traditional Sichuan opera singing and dancing with a contemporary theme has made sure that "Jin Zi" endears itself to modern viewers while retaining its distinctive flavor.

(CCTV.com September 10, 2003)

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