At the end of 2022, a young, lively and vitality-filled experimental Shanghai opera “If I were the holder of the Number One Scholar title”, will be staged in the White House Theater of Shanghai Theatre Academy (Lianhua Road Campus).
8 December was the day for the performance of the experimental Shanghai opera "If I were the Number One Scholar title holder". It was the cooperation between the BA Chinese Opera Directing 2019 program of the College of Chinese Opera of Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Baoshan Shanghai Opera Troupe that had created this "classical comic" work of Chinese the cooperation, to which the audience present warmly responded with endless applause and laughter. As the graduation production of students, the post-2000s playwriting and directing teams of the BA Chinese Opera Directing program has taken innovation, integration and inheritance as the goal at the beginning of creation, aiming to create a Chinese opera work that young audiences would accept and love to see, as well as a Chinese opera work with modern aesthetic rhythm.
The experimental Shanghai Opera "If I were the Number One Scholar" title holder” received the project support from the Shanghai Chinese Opera Culture Collaborative Innovation Center, and was jointly created by all graduating students of the BA Chinese Opera Directing program of the College of Chinese Opera of Shanghai Theatre Academy and the Shanghai Baoshan Shanghai Opera Inheritance Center. It was an honor for the students of STA’s BA Chinese Opera Directing program to be able to have the opportunity to co-create with the Shanghai Baoshan Shanghai Opera Inheritance Center, and to enter the Baoshan Shanghai Opera Troupe for joint creation and rehearsals with mature and professional actors.
The experimental Shanghai opera "If I were the Number One Scholar title holder" was a "test" to explore the path of Chinese opera inheritance. According to the feedback of audience comments on public social media platforms such as Weibo, WeChat and Tiktok, as well as the continuous applause and laughter at the performance site, it was also a successful attempt, which used the traditional classic masterpiece as the safeguard to ensure the high quality of the play.
The success of the premiere of the experimental Shanghai Opera "If I were the Number One Scholar title holder" is the result of the cooperation between the Baoshan Shanghai Opera Troupe under the leadership of Hua Wen, the director of the troupe and a famous Shanghai opera performing artist, and the Chinese Opera Directing major of Shanghai Theatre Academy. It is a successful case of deep cooperation between professional opera troupes and specialized art colleges, and is a bold attempt to explore the direction of innovative development of Chinese opera art, which has attracted a batch of young fans for Shanghai opera art, and taken a step forward on the road of inheriting the classics towards the objectives of being younger, modern and fashionable.