Special Report: Focus on Tibet
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.
Tibetan opera performance. (Photo: China
Tibet Information Center )
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
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
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
(Source: China Tibet Information Center)