A Chinese opera staged in the Kyrgyz capital reviving a heroic epic shared by the two neighbours highlights a common wish to enhance the understanding between the two peoples and boost bilateral ties.

An original work by China National Opera House, Manas that tells the tale of the hero Manas, was greeted with a warm welcome when it debuted here Tuesday at the 884-seat Kyrgyz National Opera and Ballet Theater.

The opening night received a congratulatory message from Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov. The audience, including senior Kyrgyz officials, applauded more than 30 times during the performance and cheered for nearly 20 minutes after the curtain fell.

Jeenbekov watched the opera of Chinese-version Manas in Beijing in June 2018 during his state visit to China and invited the artists to perform in Kyrgyzstan.

The epic of Manas tells tales about Manas, a chieftain of the Kyrgyz people, and his descendants who struggled to build a homeland and fight off external enemies. It has been sung for centuries in Kyrgyzstan, China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and parts of the ancient Silk Road.

After enjoying the Chinese opera, the well-known Kyrgyz Manas narrator Baktybek Maksutov said he was satisfied with its portrayal of the hero and was thankful to the Chinese artists.

Chinese Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Du Dewen said the epic of Manas is a spiritual wealth shared by the two peoples, and it is also an “important bridge” for cultural exchanges between the two countries.

She said she hopes that the opera Manas will promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges and strengthen the traditional friendship between China and Kyrgyzstan.

The opera’s staging in the Kyrgyz capital, which came ahead of the 19th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to be held here, added a festive atmosphere to the event.