Madame White Snake: An opera troupe fights eviction in Shanghai

An opera singer fights to keep her community together when her theatre in Shanghai is slated for demolition.

Zhou Guixiang is the leader of a dilapidated opera theatre in one of Shanghai’s last remaining informal housing settlements. Having endured dwindling audiences and soaring rent for decades, Zhou and her troupe have refused to follow the fate of similar cultural spaces in the city.

But when authorities order the theatre demolished to make way for redevelopment, Zhou and her troupe are given one month to leave the premises.

The opera is more than just a way of life for the residents. It’s home to a community of marginalised ageing artists struggling for space in a rapidly modernising city.

Madame White Snake by Daniel Patrick Holmes & Vivi Zhu