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Local Operas
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

   Warriors of the Yang Clan aka
Chinese opera is an art with a long history and unique characteristics. Due to the vast land and various nationalities of China, there are various local operas besides Beijing Opera (jīng jù 京剧). Local opera (dì fāng xì 地方戏) in China is the opera which is popular in a certain region and with local characteristics. There are more than 300 types of local operas in China, among which Yuju Opera (yù jù 豫剧), Pingju Opera (píng jù 评剧), Yue Opera (yuè jù 越剧), Huangmei Opera (huáng méi xì 黄梅戏), Guangdong Opera (yuè jù 粤剧), Chaoju Opera (cháo jù 潮剧) are enjoyed great popularity.

Yu Opera (豫剧)
Mu Gui Ying Takes CommandYu Opera, also called Henan Bangzi Opera (hé nán bāng zī 河南梆子) and Henan High Tune (hé nán gāo diào 河南高调). It is popular in Henan and adjacent provinces, has a history of more than three hundred years. The tune of Yuju opera sometimes is loud and sonorous, sometimes is desolate and lingering, it can acting many types of plays. With more than six hundred and fifty traditional plays, Yuju opera has developed to one of the best-known operas in China. The famous actress and actor are Chang Xiangyu (cháng xiāng yù 常香玉), Niu Decao (niǔ dé cǎo 牛得草) etc.. Typical operas are Mu Guiying Takes Command (mù guì yīng guà shuài 穆桂英挂帅), Matchmaker (hóng niáng 红娘), A Petty Official (qī pǐn zhī mǎ guān 七品芝麻官), Hua Mulan (huā mù lán 花木兰), Chao Yang Village (cháo yáng gōu 朝阳沟) and so on.

Pingju Opera (评剧)
Pingju Opera originated in Tangshan City (táng shā shì 唐山市), Hebei Province (hé běi shěng 河北省). It is Qin Xiang Lianpopular in Beijing (běi jīng 北京), Tianjin (tiān jīn 天津), Northern China (huá běi 华北), and northeast of China. Originally it was developed on the basis of folk music Lianhualuo (lián huā luò 莲花落) in Hebei province (hé běi shěng 河北省). Then it absorbed the musical and dancing style of other operas. Pingju opera lastly took shape in Qing Dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝). With the characters of lively, free and strong flavor of life, it is perfect for performing modern life. The famous actresses are Xiao Bai Yushuang (xiǎo bái yù shuāng 小白玉霜), Xinfengxia (xīn fèng xiǎ 新凤霞) etc.. Typical operas are Qin Xianglian (qín xiāng lián 秦香莲), Small Son-in-Law (xiǎo nǚ xù 小女婿), Liu Qiao’er (liú qiǎo ér 刘巧儿) and so on.

Guangdong Opera (粤剧)
Guan Han QingGuangdong Opera is popular in Guangdong (guǎng dōng shěng 广东省), Guangxi (guǎng xī shěng 广西省), Hong Kong (xiāng gǎng 香港), Macao (ào mén 澳门), Singapore (xīn jiā pō 新加坡), and Malaysia (mǎ lái xī yà 马来西亚). In Ming (míng cháo 明朝) and Qing (qīng cháo 清) Dynasties, many Chinese operas spread to Guangdong, the tune of these operas integrated with Guangdong music and folk music, finally formed a new opera-Guangdong opera. The opera is sung with the local dialect with its own special style. The famous actress and actor are Hongxiannv (hóng xiàn nǚ 红线女) and Ma Shizeng (mǎ shī zēng 马师曾). The representative plays are Searching the Study (sōu shū yùan 搜书院), Guan Hanqing (guān hàn qīng 关汉卿) etc..

Yue Opera (越剧)
Yue Opera is originated from Shaoxing City (shào xīng shì 绍兴市), Zhejiang Province (zhè jiāng shěng 浙江省). Liang Shanbo and Zhu YingtaiIt is popular in Zhejiang, Shanghai (shàng hǎi 上海), Jiangsu (jiāng sū shěng 江苏省), Jiangxi (jiāng xī shěng 江西省) and Anhui (ān huī shěng 安徽省) province. Yueju opera took sharp in Qing Dynasty (qīmg cháo 清朝). At first it was acted only by actors. Thirty years later, the opera was acted by actress instead. The tune of Yueju opera is mild and roundabout. It became the second largest opera form next to Beijing Opera. The famous actresses are Yuan Xuefen (yuǎn xué fēn 袁雪芬), Wang Wenjuan (wáng wén juān 王文娟), Xu Yulan (xú yù lán 徐玉兰) etc..Typical operas are A Dream of Red Mansions (hóng lóu mèng 红楼梦), Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (liáng shān bó yú zhù yīng tái 梁山伯与祝英台) and so on.

Huangmei Opera (黄梅戏)
Huangmei Opera is also called Huangmei Tune (huáng méi diào 黄梅调), is popular in parts of Anhui (ān huī shěng 安徽省) and Hubei (hú běi shěng 湖北省) provinces. The opera is originated from the tea-leaf picking song (cǎi chá gē 采茶歌) in Huangmei county (huáng méi xiàn 黄梅县), Hubei province. When it was introduced to Anqing City (ān qìng shì 安庆市), Anhui province, it mixed with local folk music, and formed Huangmei Opera as it is nowadays. Huangmei Opera is easy to understand and learn. Its tunes are mild and pleasant, and its movements are natural and graceful. Its local flavor and folk style make Huangmei Opera an enduring drama appreciated by all the people. Some of its famous actors and actresses include Yan Fengying (yán fèng yīng 严凤英), Wang Shaofang (wáng shào fǎng 王少舫) and Ma Lan (mǎ lán 马兰). Typical operas are Marrying a Fairy (tiān xiān pèi 天仙配), Emperor’s Female Son-in-Law (nǜ fù mǎ 女驸马), The Cowherd and the Girl Weaver (niú láng zhī nǚ 牛郎织女) and so on.
      Tian Xian Pei

Chaoju Opera (潮剧)
The story of PipaChaoju Opera, also called Chaozhou Opera (cháo zhōu xì 潮州戏), is popular in Guangdong (guǎng dōng shěng 广东省) and Fujian Minnan (fú jiàn mǐn nán 福建闽南) where people speak Chaozhou dialect. It is also performed in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore. Chaoju Opera has a history of more than four hundred and thirty years. Bases on the folk dances and ballad-singing of the Chaozhou region, it formed its own style under the influence of Nanxi (nán xì 南戏). Its tunes are graceful and pleasant, full of local color. Chaoju Opera consist of two traditional plays, one type was originated from the legend of Nanxi and poetic drama, for example The Story of Pipa (pí pá jì 琵琶记), Jing Chai Ji (jīng chāi jì 荆钗记) etc.. The other type is based on local folklore and current affairs, like Li Jing Ji (lì jìng jì 荔镜记), Su Liu Niang (sū liù niáng 苏六娘) and so on. Some of the famous artresses and actors are Hong Miao (hóng miào 洪妙)、Yao Xuanqiu (yáo xuán qiū 姚璇秋)、Fang Zhanrong (fāng zhǎn róng 方展荣), Zhang Changcheng (zhāng cháng chéng 张长城) etc..

地方戏

      中国的戏曲有着悠久的历史,是世界上一种独特的戏剧艺术。地方戏流行于一定地区,是有地方特色的戏曲剧种的通称。由于中国地域辽阔,民族众多,各地的方言不同,除了京剧以外,还形成了丰富多彩的地方戏。据统计,中国的地方戏有300多种,可以称得上世界之最。其中影响比较大的有豫剧、评剧、粤剧、越剧、黄梅戏、潮剧等。

豫剧
      豫剧也叫河南梆子、河南高调,流行于河南以及临近各省,已有三百多年的历史。豫剧的声腔,有的高亢活泼,有的悲凉缠绵,能够表演各种风格的剧目,传统剧目有六百五十多出,已经发展成为具有全国影响的剧种。著名演员有常香玉、牛得草等,代表剧目有《穆桂英挂帅》《红娘》《七品芝麻官》《花木兰》《朝阳沟》等。

评剧
      评剧发源于河北唐山,是流行于北京、天津和华北、东北各地的地方戏。它最初是在河北民间说唱“莲花落”的基础上发展起来的,又先后吸收了其他剧种和民间说唱的音乐和表演形式,于清朝末年形成了评剧。评剧具有活泼、自由、生活气息浓郁的特点,擅长表演现代生活。著名演员有小白玉霜、新凤霞等,代表剧目有《秦香莲》、Hong Lou Meng《小女婿》、《刘巧儿》等。

粤剧
      粤剧是广东省的主要剧种,主要流行于广东、广西、香港、澳门、新加坡和马来西亚。明清时代,中国的许多剧种流传到了广东,这些剧种的声腔与广东音乐、民间曲调相结合,逐渐形成了一个新的剧种──粤剧。粤剧用广东方言演唱,形成了自己独特的风格。著名演员有红线女、马师曾等,代表剧目有《搜书院》《关汉卿》等。


越剧
      越剧发源于古越国所在地浙江绍兴地区,是浙江省的主要地方戏,流行在浙江、上海、江苏、江西、安徽等地。越剧形成于清朝末年,最初全部由男演员演出,三十年代又发展成全部由女演员演出。越剧唱腔委婉、表演细腻抒情优美,已经成为仅次于京剧的一个大剧种。著名演员有袁雪芬、王文娟、徐玉兰等,代表剧目有《红楼梦》《梁山伯与祝英台》等。

黄梅戏
      黄梅戏是安徽省的地方戏之一,旧时称为黄梅调,主要流行于安徽及江西、湖北的部分地区。黄梅戏起源于湖北黄梅的采茶歌,传入安徽安庆地区后,又融合了当地的民间音乐,发展形成了这个剧种。黄梅戏简单易懂、旋律优美、委婉动听,表演朴实优美,生活气息浓厚,受到了人们普遍的欢迎。著名演员有严凤英、王少舫、马兰等,演出的传统剧目有《天仙配》、《女驸马》、《牛郎织女》等。

 潮剧
      潮剧也叫潮州戏,主要流行广东、福建闽南南潮语区,也流行于香港、台湾和新加坡。潮剧已有四百三十多年的历史,它是宋元南戏的一个分支,由宋元时期的南戏逐渐演化,吸收了弋阳、昆曲、皮黄、梆子戏的特长,结合本地民间艺术,如潮州音乐等,最终形成自己独特的艺术形式和风格。潮剧唱腔以轻婉抒情见长,多曼声折转,清丽悠扬。其传统剧目可分为两大类:一类来自南戏传奇和杂剧,如《琵琶记》、《荆钗记》等。另一类取材当地民间传说故事或实事编撰的地方剧目,如《荔镜记》、《苏六娘》等。潮剧著名演员有:洪妙、姚璇秋、方展荣、张长城等。

Why not buy the operas and appreciate them yourself?

         







 

 

 

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