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CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe on a performance tour at Confucius Institutes in Spain

In order to drive civilization exchange and mutual appreciation between China and Spain, and enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between people of the two countries, with substantial guide and support of the Office of Chinese Language Council International, Chongqing University’s Sichuan Opera Troupe have held 6 Sichuan Opera shows themed the “refined rhythm of Sichuan opera” in 5 Confucius Institutes located respectively in 5 cities of Spain, including Madrid, Las Palmas, Valencia, Zaragoza and Leon from the end of September to early October, 2018. The purpose of the tour is to take the Sichuan opera with appealing vocal music, superb skills and vivid humor to the people of Spain, and to promote and inherit the outstanding traditional Chinese culture. Thousands of people have watched and liked the show.

Hu Xuebin, head of the Propaganda Department of CPC CQU Committee, head of the Teachers’ Work Department of CPC CQU Committee and a standing member of the CPC CQU Committee and Li Jing, deputy dean of the School of International Education (in charge of daily work), respectively act as the head and deputy head of the delegation. The more than 20 teachers and students participating in the show are from the School of Arts, Meishi Film Academy, the School of Economics and Business Administration, and Youlan Opera Club of the Youth League Committee of Chongqing University, based on which the Sichuan Opera Culture Heritage and Protection Base under the Ministry of Education has been set up. Related teaching organizations and functional departments including the Department of Dance, the Department of Music, the Department of Acting, the Teachers’ Work Department of CPC CQU Committee, the Culture Division of the Propaganda Department, the School of International Education, the Teaching Affairs Office and the Youth League Committee of Chongqing University have been collaborating closely to promote and popularize Sichuan opera on the international level by focusing on cultural and aesthetic education, getting ideas from the rich Chinese cultural resources, combining the beneficial thoughts and artistic value of outstanding traditional Chinese culture with the characteristics and requirements of the era, and expressing them in a modern way using diversified forms of art. Its ultimate goal is to constantly improve the humanistic quality and spiritual shackles of the teachers and students and consolidating the basis through outstanding traditional cultural classics.


A greeting to the National Day: Taking part in the Madrid “Confucius Institute Day” themed cultural event

On September 29 of the local time, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe arrived at the Madrid Confucius Institute nearby the Plaza de Colon in the downtown of Madrid, Spain. As part of the “Confucius Institute Day” event held by the Confucius Institute in order to promote Chinese culture, Chongqing University’s delegation put on a special Sichuan opera performance themed “the refined rhythm of Sichuan opera”. The performance was the last and the most important part of the event, and it enriched the celebration activities of the day. Teachers and students of the Confucius Institute and citizens of Madrid were so luck to be able to enjoy the Sichuan opera arts that contain rich Chinese opera spirit and aesthetic characteristics and traditional cultural and artistic experience. The Merry Dance to Songs and the Sender Waist that combine opera with dance, the Sichuan opera that contains classical vocal music Drunken Concubine and Palace of Eternal Life, and Madam White Snake: Stealing the Heaven Grass, A Selected Collection of Sichuan Opera, and the Impression of Sichuan Opera with unique opera expression forms have impressed the audience the most, and have won many likes.

Gladys Nieto, the Spanish president of Madrid Confucius Institute, Ni Maohua, the Chinese president of the Institute and teachers and students were present to watch the performance. More than 10 media including Sina Microblog and East Day have kept a close eye on the event and reposted articles such as CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe Puts on Its First Performance of 2018 Spain Tour. According to the media, the Troupe “exhibited the outstanding traditional Chinese culture”, and “did this as a sincere greeting of Chongqing University’s teachers and students to the National Day”.


The hottest ticket: Citizens of Gran Canaria watched Sichuan opera the first time


From October 2 to 3 of the local time, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe put on two performances respectively at the Auditorium of Universidad Las Palmas and Tearo Cuyás Theater in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Spain for the teachers and students of Universidad Las Palmas and the local audience and Chinese and overseas Chinese. About 1,500 audiences were present to watch the performance. Canaria is a chain of islands located in the northwest sea area of Africa, and is an autonomous region of Spain . Las Palmas is located in Gran Canaria which is a part of Canaria, and is 210km away from the beach of Africa. It is the capital city of Las Palmas Province and the capital of Canaria.

Mr. Li Liqu, chairman of Overseas Chinese Association of Canary, Spain , Ms. Liu Xucai, the Chinese president of Las Confucius Institute and Mr. Gu Lide, the Spanish president of the Institute, have attended and addressed the event. Ms. Liu Xucai, the Chinese president of Las Confucius Institute said that the more than 1,000 tickets of Tearo Cuyás Theatre were sold out very soon after they were released, and an extra performance had to be arranged to meet the demands of the teachers and students. CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe had to fight back the fatigue, and what was worse, 3 of their suitcases did not arrive at the same time with them. As such, they tried to optimize the representation form of the performance, while some students used the clothing bought with help of the local Confucius Institute to make props and costumes in a very short time. Eventually, the well-performed Sichuan opera show with distinct regional characteristics won roars of applauses from the audiences. It also enhanced the exchange and blending between the cultures of the two countries and deepened the friendship between them. The audiences rushed onto the stage to take photos with the performers, and expressed their sincere praise to the performers and the Chinese culture in Spanish, English or even Chinese. According to the audiences, the performance was “maravilloso” (extraordinary). The person in charge of external propaganda of Universidad Las Palmas said that: “This is a wonderful performance that will enhance the China-Spain cultural exchange. The performance was so great that I will not be able to sleep tonight.” Many local media have also spoken very highly of the Sichuan opera performance.

Lichade Kelaote, the vice president of Universidad Las Palmas in charge of international exchange and cooperation, met with the teachers and students of the Troupe before the performance, and extended her gratitude to the teachers and students for their “extra” performance to meet the demands of the teachers and students.

On the morning of October 2, Hu Xuebin, upon invitation, delivered a speech titled Traditional Chinese Culture and Sichuan Opera Arts at Universidad Las Palmas. Spanish president of the Confucius Institute Gulide presided at the lecture. The lecture combined exhibition with interpretation to show the essence and characteristics of Sichuan opera arts, and was well-received by the audiences.

Drawing extensive attention: Displaying the glamour of Chinese culture at Valencia Modern Theatre


On October 4 of the local time, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe took an early plane back to Madrid, and then immediately took a plane to the “city of sunlight” of Europe, Valencia, the third biggest city and second biggest seaport of Spain.

A civilization can only remain energetic with exchange and mutual appreciation. At dusk of October 5 of the local time, in this city that lies between ancient civilization and modern culture, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe put on a special cultural and artistic performance themed “the refined rhythm of Sichuan opera” to nearly 1,000 local audiences at Palacio de Congresos de València. The performance has won long-time warm applauses. The performers realized that the outstanding traditional Chinese culture is the solid foundation that allows us to stand firm among the cultural upheavals in the world.

Professor Vicent Andreu, the Spanish president of Valencia Confucius Institute, has been in office for 11 years. He said he loved China very much and had making publicizing the event and inviting media to the event via local newspapers, network and TV. Professor Vincent Andreu delivered an opening speech and extended sincere welcome and gratitude to Chongqing University for its cultural exchange performance. After the performance, Professor Vincent Andreu and Zhang Daisheng, the Chinese president of the Institute, and some other overseas Chinese stepped onto the stage to take photos with the performers and staff members. When interviewed by Valencia TV Station, he excitedly said that the Sichuan opera performance with Chinese characteristics put on by Chongqing University students and teachers was amazing. The Chinese representatives from Chongqing, who were also present to watch the performance, also expressed their gratitude to the performers and congratulations on the success of the performance.

Raising the profile: CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe performed at Zaragoza Pilar Music Festival


On October 7, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe drove to Zaragoza located in the northeast of Spain. It is the fifth biggest city in Spain .

The Pilar Music Festival, a grand traditional occasion of Zaragoza, was going on at that time. It is the grandest annual ceremony of Zaragoza, the capital city of Aragon , Spain . Many people would turn out onto the streets to celebrate the Festival in various ways. The special performance of Chongqing University themed “the refined rhythm of Sichuan opera” was part of the Pilar Music Festival, and was held at North  Station Citizen Activity  Center as a branch place. The performance began in roars of applauses. Professor Cui Yuwen, the Chinese president of Zaragoza Confucius Institute, and Professor Rafael de Miguel, the Spanish president of the Institute, were present to watch the performance.

The climax of the performance was marked by the face changing part, which is an exclusive feature of Sichuan opera. Citizens of Zaragoza, after watching the performance, said they were amazed by the beautiful vocal music and excellent skills of the performers. Hu Xuebin, head of the delegation, presented the Sichuan embroidery facial makeup of Sichuan opera to Zaragoza Confucius Institute, and thanked the Institute for their support and considerate arrangement for the tour show of Chongqing University.

Fascinating interaction activities: Special Sichuan opera performance at Confucius Institute, University of Leon, highly favored


On the morning of October 8, CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe arrived in Leon, a city located in the northwest of Spain, and put on its 6th performance of the tour at Auditorio de León. Dr. Chen Chen, the Chinese president of the Institute, and Dr. Oscar Fernandez, and officials of the University of Leon, were all present to watch the performance.

As interaction between cultures of China and Spain, the performers particularly put on a performance of Spanish dance. After changing their costumes very quickly, the performers with the facial makeup for Sichuan opera danced in the Spanish way to the music with strong rhythm. The audiences liked the performance very much and clapped their hands constantly. The next day, the local newspaper devoted the front-page headlines to the event, and bid farewell to the Troupe. This marked a successful end of the exhausting performance tour.

This performance tour is sponsored by the Office of Chinese Language Council International. CQU Sichuan Opera Troupe had to tackle challenges including the pressing time, heavy task and long-distance travel. Despite these difficulties, they did very well in the performance tour in 5 cities located in different parts of Spain . In order to serve the “Double-First-Rate” construction of Chongqing University, broaden the international horizon of students and Teachers, display the cultural confidence and artistic standard and raise its international profile, Chongqing University fulfilled the tour task in Europe satisfactorily again after the performance tour in Italy and France in 2017, and did its best to “promote the outstanding traditional Chinese culture, inherit the opera spirit of China and carry out cross-culture exchange”.