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An opera legacy lives on
By Zhu Chengpei and Zhang Xiaomin ( China Daily )

An opera legacy lives on

Wang Minzhong shows Gao Cangjian photos of his performance in the Hongji Stage in Dalian, Liaoning province. Zhang Xiaomin / China Daily

Wang was the only Chinese member of the club. He remains in touch with the club founder via the Internet to discuss about the opera.

Performers from the Dalian Peking Opera Company give live shows every Saturday afternoon. Before the Hongji Stage reopened in 2010, they performed at the Qilin Stage for 15 years.

Wang has been following the shows since 2006, befriending some actors and actresses.

He and some other fans take photographs and videos of the performers, and use them to discuss with them ways to improve the shows.

"They are not nitpicking. They give us more encouragement. They love Peking Opera and want to help us perform better," says 19-year-old actor Gao Cangjian.

Usually, a performance on Saturday attracts about 300 audiences. There are some 30 regular fans. When Gao sees the familiar faces among the audience, he feels good.

"I feel motivated," Gao says.

Wang, Gao and more than 200 fans and actors of DPOC formed an online group named Dalian Peking Opera Backyard at the micro-blogging platform Sina Weibo, communicating about the art they love.

Most of the members are young and well-educated. They include university lecturers, public servants, employees of foreign-invested companies, and journalists.

Wang is the administrator of the Sina Weibo account.

"I also go to theaters in other cities within China. Usually after the show, I hear fans complaining about the performance. That's quite different from the atmosphere here in Dalian," Wang says.

An opera legacy lives on

An opera legacy lives on

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