The curtain rises for traditional theater on high definition TV
The local Opera Channel, a television platform for traditional Chinese opera, will offer high-definition streaming of all its programs from August 30.
The channel, under Shanghai Media Group, will also cooperate with streaming services and performing troupes nationwide to spread the brilliance of Chinese culture.
As the city’s only professional TV channel for traditional Chinese theaters, the channel has presented many influential programs. It has also discovered and cultivated outstanding directors and performing artists through television contests.
Liang Hongjun, director of the Shanghai Yueju Opera Company, noted that the channel has been an integral part of the development of traditional Chinese operas over the decades, and many famous artists have shown their versatility and rose to fame through its performances.
Valuable video footage has been digitally restored for a high definition presentation of classic performances by past artists. Among the footage is opera artists Yueju Fan Ruijuan and Fu Quanxiang’s collaboration in the play “The Legend of Li Wa” when they wowed audiences in Hong Kong in the 1980s.
Additionally, audiences are offered restored interview footage with the late masters, including Shanghai pranksters Yao Mushuang, Zhou Baichun and Peking Opera artist Tong Shouling.
Over the next two months, classic plays and modern makeovers covering Peking Opera, Yueju, Kunqu, Huju, and Huaiju will also be featured on the channel to showcase the charm and innovation of the arts.
Meanwhile, an alliance for the development of integrated media of traditional Chinese opera has also been launched in the city. The alliance will bring together performing companies, theaters, streaming platforms and TV stations nationwide to explore new avenues and opportunities for the revival of traditional theaters in the new era.
BesTV Vice President He Kongyong likened high-definition broadcasting to upgrading theater seats from the back row to the front row to ensure a better viewing experience. As early as 2019, Shanghai Media Group’s streaming platform partnered with Shanghai Yueju Opera Company to launch a mobile app – Chinese Opera Yueju to showcase classical plays and feature art lectures by opera celebrities Yueju.
“We presented 28 traditional Chinese opera cloud performances in the first half of the year, attracting more than 10 million households in total,” He said. “People’s enthusiasm for traditional theaters is on the rise. We will provide more customer-oriented services to make art forms more accessible to people.”