Beijing Opera is the most popular and influential opera in China with a history of almost 200 years. In the course of its formation,it assimilated the best from many other local operas and was affected by Beijing local dialect and customs.Though Beijing Opera originated from Beijing,it is not a localized opera exclusive to Beijing only,Beijing opera troupes can be found in most regions of China
Beijing Opera combines singing,recital,acting and acrobatic fighting.Singing refers to the singing according to certain tunes.Recital refers to monologues by performers and dialogues between performers.Acting refers to body movements and facial expressions.Acrobatic fighting refers to choreographed martial art
In the long term of development.Beijing Opera has formed a number of fictitious props.For instanc,a pedal means a boat,a whip in the hand means riding on a horse. Without any physical props involved,an actor may perform going upstairs or downstairs,opening or closing a door by mere gestures.Though rather exaggerated,those actions would,with their graceful movements ,give audience a deep impression.
There are four main roles in Beijing Opera:Sheng,Dan,Jing and Chou.
Sheng are the leading male actors,and are divided into Laosheng who wear beards and represent old men,Xiao sheng who represent young men,and Wusheng who are acrobats playing military men and fighters.These roles usually wear no facial paintings.Famous actors Ma Lianliang, Zhou Xinfang,Ye Shenglan,Gai Jiaotian and Li Shaochun.
Dan are famale roles.Formerly,the term meant female impersonators.It is further divided into several categories.The most important category,Qingyi,usually play respectable and decent ladies in elegant costumes,Huadan represent lively and clever young girls,usually in short costumes, Wudan usually play military or non-military women capable of martial arts.Laodan are the old ladies. Mei Lanfang,Cheng Yanqiu,Shang xiaoyun and Xun Huisheng were the celebrated Four Major Dan Roles in the 1920s.
Jing,mostly fmale,are the face-painted roles who represent warriors,heroes,statesmen,adventures and demons.Famous actors playing this role include Qiu shengrong and yuan Shihai.
Chou,most of time,pla roles of wit,alert and humor,It is these roles who keep the audience laughing and improvise quips at the right moments to ease tension in some serious plays.Renowned actors playing this role include Xiao Changhua and Ma Fulu.
Facial makeup in Beijing Opera has its own pattern. A sheng or a dan has to have his or her eyebrows painted in a way that they looks slanted with the outer ends of eyebrows going upward,and their eyescircled with black color,As for a Jing and chou,the pattern is in accordance with the disosition of the characters according to the rule of facial makeup in Beijing Opera. For example,a red face usually depicts the role’s loyalty and bravery;while a white face symbolized a sinister role’s treachery and guile.
It is said that the complete Beijing Opera repertoire includes more than 3,800 plays.What are staged today are primarily three types,namely,traditional Beijing Operas,newly cmposed historical ones and modern onces.
Beijing Opera ,as the national opera,enjoys a high reputation both inside and outside China.
Take a look at the brightest and best Beijing shows currently wowing audiences. So what are you waiting for, come to here and enjoy some unforgettable, world-class entertainment
Amazing Chinese Acrobatic show at Chaoyang theatre
Chinese Acrobatic show at Tian Qiao Theatre
Chinese Acrobatic show at Tiandi Theatre
Peking Opera at Liyuan theatre
Peking Opera at Huguang Gild Hall
Chinese Kongfu show at Red Theatre