ABUJA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- A large auditorium in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, was filled to its brim when a group of Chinese artists staged a Peking Opera show there late Sunday.
The colorful Chinese costumes and props, romantic storyline occationed with acrobatics and action scenes were probably the first close touch on the Chinese culture by many Nigerians in the audience.
The performance, sponsored by the China Cultural Center in Nigeria, was organized to draw curtains on the celebrations of 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Nigeria.
"Beijing Opera is the cultural essence of China. So, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, we want our Nigerian friends to experience China more in Abuja and Nigeria," said Zhou Pingjian, Chinese ambassador in Nigeria.
Peking Opera, with a history of more than 200 years, has won worldwide fame and retains its uniqueness with a fusion of singing, dancing, acting, fighting and reading.
The two-hour show presented classic works from "Divergence" to "The Drunken Beauty" to "Jingwu", winning wows and thunderous cheers from the audience.
The envoy said in 45 years, Sino-Nigerian relations has brought real benefits to people of the two countries, adding the relations could go even higher through cultural exchanges.
Oluwadamilola Ayankunbi, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria, said she was most enthralled by the comedic roles in one of the plays performed Sunday night.
Ayankunbi said the colorful plays, songs and acts of Chinese martial in the evening's performance gave her a wonderful chance to further learn about the long history of China, its people and culture.
"I've seen opera performances in other places but this Beijing Opera is a unique one. I will forever cherish the moment and look forward to seeing more of this elsewhere, either in China or anywhere across the globe," she said.
Mesmerized by the performance, a larger part of the audience jumped onto the stage at the end of the show to take pictures with the Chinese artistes.
"Before now, I watched the Peking Opera only on television but never had I been opportune to meet any of the artistes one-on-one. The performance was really amazing, I loved it," said Joyce Okonkwo, an opera buff.