Chinese opera company visits Fort Wayne to celebrate sister city anniversary

The Taizhou Louantan Opera Company rehearses ahead of two special performances in Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne is celebrating the 5 year anniversary of adding its sister city in China.

The Taizhou Louantan Opera Company traveled from Taizhou, China this weekend for two special performances at the Arts United Center, 303 E. Main Street.

It’s the first time the group of 25 singers, instrumentalists, dancers, and acrobats has visited the Summit City.

Five years ago, Fort Wayne and Taizhou joined up through Fort Wayne Sister Cities International. The organization’s goal is: “Globally advancing friendship and peace through educational, cultural and economic exchanges.”

The performances are an effort to share Taizhou’s Chinese culture with the people of Fort Wayne.

Dorothy Kittaka, Fort Wayne Sister Cities Chairperson said it’s a special opportunity.

“Today, so much of our music is heard from recordings or on radio and TV,” Kittaka said. “We would like to offer the public and especially to our young students, the opportunity to hear and see magnificent performances of the Taizhou Opera, which they may never be able to witness ‘live’ unless they travel abroad to China.”

Traditional Chinese Opera is different from the opera that many people in the United States are familiar with. There is different dramatic make-up, songs, colorful costumes, dance, and even acrobatics.

All of the elements come together to represent Chinese stories that date back to the Ming Dynasty more than 400 years ago.

There will be two performances Sunday, October 14. The first is a free performance for children and the adults accompanying them at 2 p.m.

There will be a second performance at 7 p.m. People can check out the cultural experience for $10.

Tickets are available at the door.