700-year-old opera stage restored in China

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TAIYUAN, Nov 15 – A six-month restoration project in north China’s Shanxi Province on a 700-year-old outdoor Chinese opera stage has been completed, local cultural relics authorities said Friday.

At a cost of 1.52 million yuan (247,970 U.S. dollars), the project began in June after water and structural damage was discovered at Dongyuemiao Opera Stage in Yaodu District of Linfen City, said Xue Qinghong, an official with the Yaodu Cultural Relics and Tourism Bureau.

Major work was undertaken to repair damage to the performance hall, the bell and drum tower, side rooms, walls, and floor.

The stage, built in early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), is one of only eight opera stages of its time. During the Yuan dynasty, Chinese opera flourished.

As one of the birthplaces of opera, Shanxi boasts nearly 3,000 opera stages, including those built in dynasties of Yuan as well as Jin (1115-1234).