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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Hybrid Tibetan-Peking opera set for last days of Olympics

August 14, 2008

www.chinaview.cn
August 12, 2008

BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The story of a princess involved in a
political marriage between Tibetan and Han nationalities 1,300 years
ago will be dramatized in a mix of Tibetan and Peking operas later this month.

"Princess Wencheng" would be jointly staged by the National Peking
Opera Theater and the Tibetan Opera Troupe from Aug. 21 to 23 as one
of the key cultural performances during the Beijing Olympic Games,
said Liu Can, spokeswoman with the Meilanfang Grand Theater.

The hybrid drama combined the two opera styles' most notable aspects
in music, song, costume and other aspects.

"Instruments like drums and cymbals of Tibetan opera will be merged
into the orchestra of Peking opera. There will also be duet and
harmonic vocals featuring both singing styles," said Liu.

"We will carry on the luxurious visual styles of both operas. Dragon
robes and brocades from Peking opera will be presented along with the
loose-bodied, luminous Tibetan clothes."

Princess Wencheng, daughter of Emperor Li Shimin of the prosperous
Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), was married to Tibetan King Songtsan
Gambo when she was 16. The princess, along with a dowry numerous
treasures, books, golden furniture and medical equipment, traveled
3,000 kilometers to her new home.

She lived in Tibet for about 40 years and was said to be widely
respected for her love of the people. Her statue is still enshrined
and worshipped in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region.

Following the royal marriage and various meetings, the Tibetans and
Hans had formed close economic and cultural relations, laying the
groundwork for the ultimate unified nation.

The Tibetan roles, including Songtsan Gambo, will be played by
professional Tibetan opera actors in its native language, with the
Han ethnic roles by Peking opera peers in Mandarin.
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