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Opera honors honorable magistrate

By Huang Chenkuang(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-10-28

After months of preparation, the Wangbang opera, Neixiang Magistrate Gao Yiyong, took to the stage at Nanyang Theater recently.

Wanbang operas have been performed in Nanyang for over 300 years and have been listed as a non-material cultural heritage.

The opera is based on the true story of Gao Yiyong, a magistrate who served in Neixiang county of Nanyang, Henan province, from 1679 to 1688.

During his nine-year tenure, Gao followed a strict code of conduct and principles as he administered the county. He even wrote a pair of rhyming couplets and posted them at the entrance of his office to remind him to spare no efforts in performing his duty as a government official.

The couplet goes,"Governmental officials should not be pleased by the promotion or saddened by the demotion, but try to become a good official that brings prosperity to where you served; What is earned from people should be made into full use to people, rather than try to take advantage of them."

Opera honors honorable magistrate

The couplet Gao wrote is posted in the front of San Xing Tang, the former office of Gao. [Photo/neixiang.gov.vn]

Gao proved himself a competent and upright magistrate both in words and deeds. Thanks in part to Gao's management, Neixiang has made great social changes and development. He is often fondly remembered for his contributions towards improving social welfare.

Opera honors honorable magistrate

A waxwork of Gao Yiyong at the Neixiang Local Magistrate’s Office Museum. [Photo/dahe.cn]

The couplet was carved on pillars in the front of San Xing Tang (A Hall to Have a Second Thought), Gao's former workplace, now the Neixiang Local Magistrate's Office Museum. It also has been quoted by numerous top officials, including President Xi, who mentioned the couplet in a conference held in Shandong to encourage all officials to follow the people-oriented administration principle.

The opera performance was sponsored by the department of culture, radio, film, TV, press and publication of Neixiang, and was created by talented local playwrights, including Dang Wanshu and Wei Tianbao. The Neixiang government invited professors from the Central Academy of Drama to direct, and provincial opera troupes for the backing music, and more than 70 professional actors to perform.

Opera honors honorable magistrate

The opera is staged in Nanyang Theater. [Photo/neixiang.gov.vn]

Opera honors honorable magistrate
A scene retelling the story of Gao Yiyong. [Photo/neixiang.gov.cn]

"We hope to encourage governmental officials to shoulder their duties, as well as to promote traditional opera," said an official from the department of culture, radio, film, TV, press and publication.

The opera was well-received by local residents, opera experts, as well as governmental officials from around Henan.

Opera honors honorable magistrate

Thousands attend a performance of Neixiang Magistrate Gao Yiyong. [Photo/neixiang.gov.cn]

 

 

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