Yueyang Huagu Opera originated more than 200 years ago. It is
mainly popular in a dozen counties and cities in not just Hunan, but also in the adjacent Hubei province and the eastern Jiangxi province.
In its long development process, the opera has widely absorbed features of Yueyang folk tunes and artistic factors of other opera types t
o form its own style. Traditionally, Huagu Opera had no full-time performing troupes, and was only pe
rformed by amateur artists, most of whom were local farmers, during slack farming seasons on temporary stages.
In 2007, Yueyang Huagu Opera was recognized by the State Council, China’s Cabinet, as
a national intangible cultural heritage for its cultural, historical and artistic significance.
In recent years, measures have been taken by the local government to promote the art form.
The One Yuan Theater, which aims to cultivate more audience, has been a successfu
l attempt, says Yi Wen, an expert of Huagu Opera, who works at a local cultural center in Yueyang.
“Traditional culture still means a lot to the local people. Even some younger residents have shown their interest in the opera,” Yi says.
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