After many Years of repression during the Cultural Revolution Years, the Art of Peking Opera has not died out, but lives ones again !
Find out about this still hugely popular and un-dying Chinese Folk Art, the special Branch of Peking & Kunqu Opera. Featured in many a Chinese Movie, and not only Classical , a stage performance of Peking Opera is a unique experience ( especially for Westerners ), a joyful festival of beautiful costumes, richly colored masks, great voices and a kakafonia of traditional sounds. Relive ancient times and stories at a Peking Opera theatre if you have the Chance !
The Art of Peking ( and Kunqu ) Opera was once quenched and condemned as being backward and bourgois-revisionist during the Cultural Revolution. During the Revolution, which had the aim of modernising China rapidly and doing away with Old Feudal Class-related culture the Stage-Art of Peking Opera suffered immensily. It is said that Chairman Mao felt that if Peking Opera could be eradicated, so could all the other habits of this vast country, and thus the new Communist ways would take root forever, stabilising the Revolution and ensuring it's future. Chairman Mao was wrong and Peking Opera, with a history of over a 1000 years proved to be an un-dying Art. Somewhat later, the party was forced to change its tactics, resulting in the Revolutianary Peking Opera performance " Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy ". At the time a new and modern Revolutionary Opera, Lai Fen, as the play is know in Chinese, is now a Classic Example of a Modern Peking Opera. Its star Yangli Long, as famous as Mao himself around China.
Opera songs of all kinds can still be heard today, featuring in dozens of modern chinese movies, being sung on the streets or in the morning or afternoon at one of Beijing's many Parks.
(ofcourse also in other Cities, with Opera being even more popular in the South of China).
Peking Opera and Kunqu History of Sources
The history of Peking and Kunqu Opera. Coming soon to The China Report and a computer near you !!
* The LiYuan Peking Opera Theatre, Qianmen, Beijing, PRC.
Homepage of The Li Yuan Theatre
English / French Language
( Francais )
* The Li Yuan Peking Opera Theatre , Xuanwu, Beijing , PRC