The seventh China National Kunqu Opera Art Festival is due to be held in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in October, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced on Wednesday.
Opening on Oct. 13, the one-week festival will see 26 shows staged by some of China's most famous Kunqu troupes featuring both classic repertoire and more recent works.
Academic symposiums and performances by college students will also be staged to encourage audience participation, and it's hoped that ticket prices from 10 yuan ($1.5) should ensure the festival is accessible to all.
Kunqu is considered one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera forms. It evolved from Kunshan melody, a local music genre found in Suzhou. It was also inscribed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.
The first Kunqu festival opened in 2000 and has been held every three years since then. It is now the only national-level art festival of Suzhou, an ancient city renowned for its classical gardens which are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.