The Great Theatre of China was opened in 1930 and was one of the four major Beijing opera stages in the city. Beginning in 2012, British theatre design company RHWL worked together with the Chinese design team on a six-year renovation project completed in May 2018. The theatre, which has been restored to its former glory, has a comprehensive area of 5,320 square meters and a three-story auditorium with 878 seats, big enough to be classified as a medium-grade professional theater. Tian Qinxin, a nationally-recognised first-rate stage play director, has been appointed as the chief artistic director.
I believe in destiny. The Great Theatre of China building is unfamiliar both to Abi and myself. We were intrigued to visit this ancient building. But what inspired me was not merely the building itself. When the theatre-guide introduced a famous Chinese opera performer's name connected to the China Grand Theatre, a realisation came over me, so I listened again carefully to his work. These historical recordings gave me new inspiration. I hope Abi will like this master of art as much as I do and together pay tribute to that legendary artist of the Chinese opera stage, Mr. Mei Lanfang!