Press Releases 2014-2015

Chinese Theatre Academy Offers Free Opera Performance


Shanghai Theatre AcademyThe Confucius Institute (CI) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) is offering the public a chance to watch colourful traditional Chinese Opera for free.

The Shanghai Theatre Academy (STA) will be performing at the Pontardawe Arts Centre on Saturday 3 October, starting at 7:30pm. Tickets for the performance are free but must be booked via the Box Office on 01792 863722.

Chinese opera is one of the oldest dramatic art forms in the world. During the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), the Emperor Taizong established an opera school with the poetic name Liyuan (Pear Garden). Since the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) it has been encouraged by court officials and emperors and has become a traditional art form. During the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), it became fashionable among ordinary people. Performances were watched in tearooms, restaurants, and even around makeshift stages.

It has evolved from folk songs, dances, talking, antimasque, and especially distinctive dialectical music. Gradually it combined music, art and literature into one performance on the stage.

Performing this ancient art form are students from the STA, China’s foremost arts education institution. Many of China’s most famous performers, such as movie star Fan Bingbing, are alumni of STA. The 62-year-old university has grown rapidly over the past twenty years, and now has 3000 full-time students, and 467 faculty members. STA offers 11 four-year BA majors, as well as masters and doctoral degrees covering all areas of the performing arts and arts education.

Krystyna Krajewska, Executive Director of the CI at UWTSD, said: “This is a rare chance to see a spectacular performance by some of China's most talented performing arts students. It promises to be great family entertainment. The tour by the Shanghai Theatre Academy comes just after the Chinese Moon festival, and the Confucius Institutes Day which marks the organisation's 11th anniversary around the world. It's a fitting way to celebrate all things Chinese.”

The CI at UWTSD is a doorway into China for schools, university students, businesses and communities in Wales. Set up with the backing of the Chinese Ministry of Education, the CI is a major centre for Mandarin provision in Wales.

With an office in Swansea and a main centre in Lampeter, it manages an ever-growing network of Associate Schools and Confucius Classrooms, all of which have their own dedicated Mandarin teachers delivering language courses and Chinese Studies curriculum enrichment.

Further Information

For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Principal Corporate Communications and PR Officer, on 01792 483695 / 07872 423788 or email