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Peking Opera

\Peking Opera is a purely Chinese opera form with a history dating back to 1790. That year, four local opera troupes of Anhui Province came to Beijing on a performance tour by order of the imperial court.The tour was a hit and the troupes stayed. The artists absorbed the tunes of the local Hubei opera and drew on the best of Kun Qu, Qin Qiang, Bang Zi and other local operas.

Many Peking Opera roles require painted faces. The different colors of the faces represent different characters and personalities.Yellow and white represent cunning, red stands for uprightness and loyalty, black means valor and wisdom, blue and green indicate the vigorous and enterprising character of rebellious heroes and gold and silver represent mystic or super-natural power.

\Sheng, dan, jing, chou are just a few of the terms for different types of roles. sheng is the positive male role, dan is the positive female role, jing is a supporting male role with striking character and chou is the clown. Every type has its tell tale facial makeup and decoration. Other jargon includes: piao you meaning Peking opera fans, piao fang, the place where fans meet to amuse themselves and xia hai, which means turning professional. When you come across a small group of Peking Opera fans singing on a street corner, that corner can be considered a street piao fang. There is no lack of social celebrities among Peking Opera fans. Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty, for example, was not only a good amateur Peking Opera singer, but also a good drummer in the Peking Opera orchestra (the drummer plays the role of orchestra director). The Empress Dowager was an avid Peking Opera fan, too. The huge three -story theater in the Summer Place is proof if her love for the art.

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Jing ICP Record No.08105532-2