Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Kunqu Opera & TeaKunqu Opera, also known as Kunju, or Kun Opera, is one of the oldest surviving forms of Chinese opera. It was listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.
I love opera, but the idea of sitting through hours of Kunqu Opera in Chinese was a bit frightening. I was looking to catch a glimpse of it, so we went to the Fuxi teahouse, located on bustling Pingjiang Road, where lovely Ms. Lv Chengfang performs nightly. If I understood correctly, she pioneered the method of narration, in addition to acting a scene, to help the audience understand the complexity of Kunqu Opera.
The show is entirely in Chinese, but you certainly do not have to stay for all of it.
What was fascinating to me was to watch Ms. Lv Chengfang go through the intricate ritual of putting on her make-up, which starts starts at 8pm (the show begins at 8:30pm). She let us take her picture, while expertly transforming her appearance, but please be respectful and refrain from using flash in this intimate setting.
Performance time: 8pm-10pm, every night
Price: RMB88 net per person, including a glass of tea
Address: Fu Xi Qin Guan, 97 Pingjiang Lu, near Nanxiangzi Xiang,
Phone: +86 512 6581 2905
Open: 10 a.-11 pm - daily
>>>A heartfelt xièxiè (谢谢) to the incredible and extremely hardworking teams at Suzhou Municipal Tourism Administration and PHG Consulting for a fascinating 4 days in Suzhou, China.