Chinese opera is more than melodic wailing: It encompasses various elements of performance from music to dance, acting, mime, acrobatics, and martial arts. Over its 800-year history, Chinese opera has evolved into many different regional varieties by incorporating local folk culture.
Today, there are more than 300 regional operatic styles, such as the well-known Peking opera (京剧 jīng jù), the 600-years-old Kun opera (昆曲 Kūn qǔ), the multi-faced Sichuanese opera (川剧 Chuān jù), and even rousing political Model operas (样板戏 yàng bǎn xì).
Good singing, though, isn’t unimportant to this national art form. One remarkable variation, Hebei’s Ping Opera (评剧 píng jù) showcases “singing-storytelling” as one of its main features. In this episode of TWOC TV, Hou Hong and Cai Changxu of the China Pingju Opera Theatre discuss how they want to protect and revitalize this ancient tradition.
TWOC TV EP. 13 – Part 1
TWOC TV EP. 13 – Part 2