Founded in Beijing in 1957, China's Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre
is the leading representative of kun
opera, which was listed in 2001 by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. It has performed around the world, most recently at the 2011 Holland Festival to great acclaim. Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre will perform China's most popular love story, Romance of the West Chamber
, a work by Yuan Dynasty playwright Wang Shifu (1260–1336). A story of a secret love between Zhang Sheng, a young scholar, and Cui Yingying, the daughter of a chief minister, the tale turns lovelorn when their desires are interrupted by warring bandits and a meddlesome mother. Only through the brave actions of Yingying's maid, Hong Niang, do the couple reunite and make their love known. Romance of the West Chamber
has been called "China's most popular romantic comedy." In Chinese with English supertitles. CHINA: The Art of a Nation
, a series on the arts and culture of China inspired by the Center's acclaimed Festival of China
in 2005, revisits the flourishing arts of one of the 21st century's world powers with nearly 300 artists spanning all genres of the performing arts.