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Huaqing Palace

Beiyuanmen Snacks Street, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

Landscape Opera in Xi'an

Going to watch a landscape opera in Xi'an feels like the Chinese version of going to Shakespeare in the Park (minus the dialogue) in New York. The performance is set amidst the ruins of Hua Qing Palace. I went to see The Song of Unending Sorrow, which is adapted from a famous Chinese poem by Bai Juyi. The opera tells the story of the love between Tang Emperor Xuan Zong and his concubine. Some call it a Chinese spin on Romeo and Juliet. The set expands beyond the stage to the mountains in the backdrop that light up with twinkling stars and a big moon. Even if you can’t understand the language, you can still follow the dramatic plot thanks to the costumes, music, and scenery.