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GD opera craze hits Luohu studios
Latest Updated by 2004-10-14 09:09:15

"PHOENIX Singing," "New South China," "Forever Sound,"and "Bosom Friend..." these are the names of some of the dozen Guangdong opera studios in Chang-hu Building on Yanhe Road near the Luohu railway station.

Every afternoon, the third floor of this building comes alive with the sound of mild and leisurely music. The opera studio staff, who are mostly young ladies, invite visitors to sing an aria.

According to one owner, all the privately run opera studios are very busy, and most of their clients are Hong Kong residents.

"My opera studio is open at the weekend so many people can come and sing late into the night," said one opera studio owner surnamed Gui.

These places provide customers with standard music accompaniment by a group of professional musicians.

Equipped with advanced audio equipment, songs can be recorded on cassette for singers to listen and enjoy at a later time.

All the opera studios have two large rooms: a lounge where customers sit on a sofa to rest and a studio where the band and singer perform. "We charge 1,100 yuan (about US$130) for four hours, or six yuan per minute."

The opera studios also provide customers with printed librettos of various Guangdong operas, and customers can sing according to the librettos if they forget the lyrics.

"I come to sing here at least once a month," said Deng, a middle-aged man from Hong Kong.

"It is much cheaper to sing in Shenzhen than in Hong Kong, and the opera studios here have very good bands," he said.

Around ten thousand Hong Kong people come to Shenzhen to sing Guangdong opera every year, and business is booming.

In Jiaotong Building near Luohu Checkpoint, there is also a large opera studio, which provides training and has attracted a large number of Guangdong opera fans from Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta region.

In addition, there are 20 other opera studios scattered across Luohu Commercial City, Dragon Hotel and other places in Luohu District.

According to the Shenzhen Guangdong Opera Society, there are more than 50 opera studios near the Luohu border, which not only attract opera fans from Shenzhen and Hong Kong but also visitors from Macao and Southeast Asia.

"Guangdong opera is not just a simple kind of folk music, it is the quintessence of Guangdong's profound traditional culture," said Zhao Weide, a researcher with the Shenzhen-based Houde Opera Society.

These opera studios are estimated to employ about 1,000 people and earn over 30 million yuan a year. It has become an important cultural industry and has turned Shenzhen into a training center for talented Guangdong opera singers.

Editor: Nit

By: Source:szdaily
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