The first volume of the English translation of 100 Peking Opera Classics was launched on Friday in Beijing's Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
The series of books, which will be published by the Beijing-based Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, are the country's first project that systematically translated Peking Opera works into English.
Renmin University of China and Beijing Foreign Studies University cooperated to begin the project in Sept 2011 after a few years of preparation. The panel includes top experts in opera, and translators from the two universities.
The books combine text and stage photos to give a panorama of the classic Chinese art form, which began in the early 1800s. The publisher also plans to release a video version of the project in the future.
"The difficult language of Peking Opera remains a key impediment for its promotion overseas," says Chen Yulu, the principal of Renmin University of China, who hosted the launching ceremony.
"This series creates a very precious experience for future projects aiming to circulate Chinese cultural classics in foreign countries," Chen said.
The project, which comprises 10 books, covers the most famous Peking Opera works including Farewell My Concubine, Empty Fort Strategy, and Fisherman's Revenge.
The rest of the volumes are expected to be published in the next 5 years.