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20:31 Sep 28 2011

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Training of young Tibetan opera performers urgent
13:21, June 09, 2010  

The Art Academy of Tibet University opened a new department majoring in Tibetan opera to standarize the teaching and train more young performers of this time-honored art form.

Hailed as the "the living fossil of traditional Tibetan culture", Tibetan opera is one of the ancient Chinese operas inscribed into the first batch of State Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2006.

"Tibet University is the pioneer to open this major of Tibetan opera in China. It often took a long time to train young performers due to the master-apprentice system in the past. Although there is still weakness in training, we can teach Tibetan operas in school now in the new department by taking advantage of the resources in the whole region," said Losang Chonyid, head of the Art Academy of Tibet University.

Studying Tibetan opera are very demanding. It requires a solid foundation on performance, aria, gestures and so on.

"The actors should be trained with professional skills in singing, dancing and acting," said Tsering Norbu, teacher of this subject.

Sonam Yongzhong, who has been studying Tibetan opera for nearly two years said,"The more I learn, the more I like Tibetan opera. It is a very comprehensive art form. Due to the high standard, it is opened for those who love this art for even a dancer can not easily master the skills."

According to Losang Chonyid, although the charm remains, the opera has been passed down verbally, which hinders its developmement. The standadization of this art form aims to carry it forward and boost it in the future.

Sonam Yongzhong said:"We have the responsibility to resume and develop this time-honored Chinese art. The opening of Tibetan opera department will play an important role in its development. On the other hand, the training of young performers becomes very urgent since many artists are reaching their senior ages."

The Tibetan opera-Ace Lhamo or Lhamo, legends popular in Tibet boasts a history of more than 600 years combining skills of singing, dancing and chanting.

It is said that this traditional art was created by Drupthok Thangthong Gyalpo, a lama and ridge builder in 14th century. Drupthok Thangthong Gyalpo organized the first performance with the support of seven pretty girls in fundraising in order to improve the transportation and facilitate conditions. The tradition was thus passed down and developed into the Tibetan opera, which became popular throughout the region.

Source:China Tibet Information Center

(Editor:叶欣)

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