Wu Opera : a 400 years old cultural heritage struggles to survive



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Wu Opera is an art form of traditional Chinese theater that combines music, vocal performance, mine, dance and martial arts. It is the second major theatrical genre in Zhejiang, with a history of over 400 years. It has a longer history than the world-famous Peking Opera. Since Wu Opera had a profound influence on the evolvement and development of Peking Opera, it was considered as the forefather of Peking Opera by the legendary opera artist Mei Langfang. The performing art was extremely popular in the Ming and Qing Dynasty court and has come to be regarded as one of the most important cultural treasures of China. It’s based in Jinhua City of Zhejiang Province, in southeastern China.

     In recent years, following the rapid and dramatic changes in concepts and lifestyles of the Chinese people, the survival of Wu Opera is facing a big challenge. The art form is losing audiences especially among the younger generation. However, the city’s government and the bearers of Wu Opera are sparing no effort to ensure the form’s survival.