Chinese Opera - CULTURE AND ARTS 

Chinese opera, with distinctive artistic features of its own, combines singing, recitation, acting and acrobatics (including dancing) into one dramatic form, different from Western drama which is subdivided into different systems of opera, drama and play. Free from restrictions of three dimensional stage props of Western drama, Chinese opera conveys the idea of time and space to the audience through the acting of performers rather than through complicated backdrops and settings. This simple and flexible use of the stage is called " imagined time and space" in Chinese operatic terminology. Its acting, however, is not mere imitation of movements in daily life. Instead, it has perfected such movements in daily life, and brought out just their essentials, making them highly-stylized and rhythmic dancing movements. Such acting is described in Chinese stage language as "stylized formula". In addition, Chinese opera has specific costumes, facial make-ups, tune systems and recitations as well as a series of role characters known as Xingtous. All this, plus imagined time and space and stylized acting, has enabled the stage to stand above real life and create a strong dramatic atmosphere with distinct operatic effects. Chinese opera has more than 300 varieties which are different from one another in dialects and music systems and which are originated and performed in different regions. Beijing Opera enjoys special popularity all over China. Also widespread are Pingju Opera, Kunqu Opera, Shaoxing Opera, Henan Opera, Sichuan opera, Shanxi Opera, Huangmei Opera, Huagu Opera and Yangko Opera. Some Chinese ethnic groups have operas of their own or other local operatic forms.

Photo Gallery of Chinese Opera