Members of the travel and arts communities gathered to learn about the ‘City of Arts & Culture’
NEW YORK, Sept. 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Suzhou, known in China as the “City of Arts & Culture,” showcased one of its premier art forms last night at a special Kunqu Opera event held for the travel industry at the Garden Museum. Named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001, Kunqu Opera is more than 600 years old and is known as the mother of Chinese operas. It is famous for its refined flute music and exquisite movements timed to every word.
Kathy Hall, founder of the London Chinese Opera Studio, performed “In Pursuit of the Dream,” a scene from The Peony Pavilion – a romantic tragedy/comedy play written by dramatist Tang Xianzu in 1598 during the Ming Dynasty. “In Pursuit of the Dream” is considered one of the most classic and popular pieces of traditional Chinese theatre. It depicts a love story between Du Liniang and Liu Mengmei that overcomes all difficulties, transcending time and space, life and death; until the pair unite at the end.
“Kunqu Opera is one of Suzhou’s most unique cultural treasures that all visitors must experience,” said Rudong Wang, head of the international communication and cooperation department at the Suzhou Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television and Tourism. “Visitors to Suzhou can immerse themselves in the art form at the Suzhou Museum of Opera and Theatre where ancient artifacts are on view and performances are held on its teahouse stage.”
The Kunqu Opera showcase is part of “Suzhou, The City of Culture & Arts,” a yearlong integrated marketing campaign designed to bring the destination’s fascinating cultural heritage to life for English-speaking travelers in Europe and North America. Exclusive campaign content exploring some of the most fascinating aspects of Suzhou including silk making, classical Chinese gardens, Pingtan storytelling, and more can be accessed using the hashtag #SecretsOfSuzhou, and travelers who have visited the destination are encouraged to share their Suzhou travel tips using the same hashtag for the chance to be featured.
For more than 2,500 years, Suzhou has been known as a center of arts and culture. Intellectuals, artists, and high profile public figures have long been drawn to the city’s romantic canals and stunning classical gardens, nine of which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Performing arts including the Kunqu Opera and Pingtan storytelling originated in Suzhou, and the city is also important to the design and fashion worlds as a center for silk making and embroidery. In addition to its arts and culture, Suzhou is home to plentiful natural areas that allow for boundless outdoor activities. Visitors seeking Suzhou’s modern side will find five-star hotels, the iconic Lake Jinji, limitless shopping, and China’s largest overwater Ferris Wheel in the upscale and contemporary SIP District. Each year, millions of tourists travel to Suzhou to experience the destination’s more than 400 attractions, ranging from pagodas and temples to historical districts and world-class museums.
Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta, approximately 60 miles west of Shanghai. Suzhou is easily accessible via direct air service from North America and Europe to Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG.) and is well connected with nearby cities including Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Nanjing by frequent high speed trains.