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Chinese Opera

Chinese Opera is a unique art of China. There are over 30 different styles of Chinese opera, depending on local traits and accents in the regions over 800 years. The most famous Opera in China are Beijing Opera (Jingju), Kun Opera (Kunqu), Yu Opera (Yuju), Huangmeixi, etc. Beijing opera (Jingju) is a very recent form of Chinese Opera, though it draws its traditions from at least the twelfth Century. Kun opera from the Jiangsu Province, ranked as a World Oral and Intangible heritage, which emphasizes gentleness and clarity.

There are also styles known for loudness and wildness, from the Shaanxi province, known as Qingqiang opera. Beijing opera takes its style from a mingling of these ad other regional styles. One of the most popular theatrical forms in the past was the southern play (nanxi na) where rhyming verse was sung or spoken. There are three existing southern play scripts today, and they share common characteristics, such as the lack of internal divisions such as acts. These would have been performed with a string and wind orchestra, as well as an offstage chorus. Chinese opera is thought to have evolved from various sources, such as folk

songs, dances , dialectical music and antimasque, or masked performance. The music that accompanies the performance uses traditional instruments such as gongs, the Erhu and the lute. Dialogues also accompany the performance, usually high literature which aided the development of literary styles such as Zaiu from the Yuan dynasty. Chinese Opera have attracted many people both dometic and abroad, especially Beijing Opera which is a must-see when foreigners come to Beijing.

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