Performers &Roles Visual element History Beijing Opera is the quintessence of China. The largest Chinese opera form, it is extolled as 'Oriental Opera'. Having a history of 160 years, it has created many 'firsts' in Chinese dramas: the abundance of repertoires, the number of artists, opera troupes and spectators.
Performers &Roles History in which its fountainhead can be dated back to old local operas, especially Anhui Opera, which was very popular in northern China in the 18th century. Origin Around the world History Beijing Opera, also called "Eastern Opera," is a principle tradition in Chinese culture. It is called Beijing Opera because it is formed in Beijing. Beijing Opera has a history of 200 years Visual element
Performers &Roles History Origin Around the world Beijing opera was born when the "Four Great Anhui Troupes" brought Anhui opera, or what is now called Huiju, to Beijing in 1790, for the birthday of the Qianlong Emperor. Beijing opera was originally staged for the court and came into the public later. Beijing opera is generally regarded as having fully formed by 1845. Origin Visual element
Performers &Roles History Origin Around the world Beijing opera has spread to many other places. Mei Lanfang, one of the most famous Dan performers of all time, was one of the greatest popularizes of Beijing opera abroad. During the 1930s, he performed Beijing opera in America. Because of the population, the performances had to be relocated from the 49th Street Theater to the larger National Theater, and the duration of the tour extended from two weeks to five. Around the world Visual element
Performers &Roles History Performers & Roles Training Roles Visual element
Performers &Roles History Training Training Roles Becoming a Beijing opera performer requires a long and arduous apprenticeship beginning from an early age. Performers are first trained in acrobatics, followed by singing and gestures. Visual element
Performers &Roles History Roles Training Roles Sheng Dan Jing Chou Visual element
Performers &Roles History Sheng Training Roles The Sheng is the main male role in Beijing opera. This role has numerous subtypes. The laosheng is a dignified older role. Young male characters are known as xiaosheng . Visual element
Performers &Roles History Dan Training Roles The Dan refers to any female role in Beijing opera. Dan roles were originally divided into four subtypes. Visual element
Performers &Roles History Jing Training Roles The Jing is a painted face male role. Depending on the repertoire of the particular troupe, he will play either primary or secondary roles. This type of role will entail a forceful character, so a Jing must have a strong voice and be able to exaggerate gestures. Visual element
Performers &Roles History Chou Training Roles The Chou is a male clown role. The Chou usually plays secondary roles in a troupe. Indeed, most studies of Beijing opera classify the Chou as a minor role. The name of the role is a homophone of the Mandarin Chinese word chou , meaning "ugly". Visual element
Performers &Roles History Visual Element Visual element Beijing opera performers utilize four main skills. The first two are song and speech. The third is dance-acting. This includes pure dance, pantomime, and all other types of dance. Stage Costume Make-up
Performers &Roles History Stage Visual element Stage Costume Beijing opera stages have traditionally been square platforms. The action on stage is usually visible from at least three sides. The stage is divided into two parts by an embroidered curtain called a shoujiu . Make-up
Performers &Roles History Costume Visual element The costumes are graceful, magnificent, elegant and bright. As the conventional Chinese pattern are used, the costumes are of a high value. Peking Opera costumes show the beauty of traditional Chinese embroidery. Every costume is a masterpiece of art and craft. Stage Costume Make-up
Performers &Roles History Make-up Visual element Stage Costume Make-up Specific types of facial make-up in Beijing Opera are put on the actors' faces to symbolize the personalities, characteristics, and fates of the roles. Red faces have positive meanings. Black faces usually have neutral meanings, symbolizing just brave men. Blue and green faces also have neutral meanings that symbolize the hero of the bush. Yellow and white faces have negative meanings that symbolize ferocious. Gold and silver faces symbolize mysteriousness.
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