Tibetan opera training course opens

A 60-day Tibetan opera training course opened on April 8 in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, gathering 45 artists from the region and its neighboring Qinghai Province and far north Gansu Province.

Supported by the Chinese National Arts Fund and organized by the Tibetan Opera Troupe of Tibet, the course will invite inheritors of the opera to give lectures, show stage operas produced by professional troupes and excellent works from different schools of the opera, and record an opera album sung by the trainees to leave behind materials for in-depth research on Tibetan opera.

Banden Wanggyu, head of the Tibet Tibetan Opera Troupe, said that this was the first time the training course had assembled Tibetan opera artists of various schools from Tibet, Qinghai, and Gansu and is a "big event" in the history of Tibetan opera.

"There are many different schools of Tibetan opera, each region has its own characteristics, both folk and professional opera troupes also have their own advantages. Engaging in such a large exchange will enrich and improve the various schools of Tibetan opera and benefit the Tibetan opera inheritance," he said.

Tibetan opera is a unique form of Chinese opera with many schools. It is known as the "living fossil" of Tibetan culture and is a national-level intangible cultural heritage item. In 2009, it was included on the UNESCO human intangible cultural heritage list.