Peking Opera - the national opera of China and the most influential opera in China
Last Update: 8th October 2020
What is the Peking Opera?
Since 1790, Sanqing, Sixi, Chuntai and Hechun, the four cast of An’hui Opera, which were originally performed in South China, entered Beijing one by one. They cooperated with the artists of Han Tune from Hubei.
They combined An’hui Opera with some of the repertoires, tunes and performance methods of Kun Opera and Qinqiang Opera and some local folk tunes. Finally, Peking Opera was created.
Peking Opera Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Jingju (京剧)
- History: Over 200 years
- Things to do there: Photography, Beijing Culture and History
- Who visits: Photographers, Beijing Culture and History Lovers, Opera Learners
- Time required: Based on the specific Peking Opera theater
What to expect at the Peking Opera
In the aspects of literature, performance, music, singing, gongs and drums, make-up, and facial expressions, Peking Opera stage art has formed a set of rules and norms that are mutually restrictive and complement each other through the long-term stage practice of countless artists.
The four artistic techniques of Peking Opera performance: singing, speaking, dancing, and acrobatic fighting. They are also the four basic skills of Peking Opera performances. The opera actors will get training for these four aspects from an early age.
Everything on the stage of Peking Opera does not appear in the original appearance of life. The characters on the stage of Peking Opera do not appear according to the original appearance of people in life, but according to the gender, character, age, occupation and social status of the role. Some art exaggeration are employed in various aspects of makeup and clothing, so that the characters on the stage are divided into four types: sheng (good men), Dan (good women), jing (some special male characters in character, quality or appearance), and chou (comedic role).
Peking opera accompaniment instruments can be divided into percussion instruments and orchestral instruments. Percussion instruments includes boards, single-skin drums, gongs, cymbals, etc. Orchestral instruments include Beijing opera fiddle, Jing Erhu, yueqin and sanxian.
The most popular theaters for Peking Opera offering high-quiality Peking Opera in Beijing are as follows.
- Mei Lanfang Theater (梅兰芳剧院) (Address: No. 32, Xida Street, Ping’anli, Xicheng District, Beijing (北京市西城区平安里西大街32号))
- Chang’an Grand Theater (长安大戏院, one of best audio theater for Beijing Opera) (Address: Guanghua Chang’an Building, No. 7, Neida Street, Jianguo Gate, Dongcheng District, Beijing (北京市东城区建国门内大街7号光华长安大厦) )
- Huguang Guild Hall (湖广会馆, the famous traditional theater with ancient royal decoration) (Address: No. 3, Hufang Road, Xicheng District, Beijing (北京西城区虎坊路3号))
- Zhengyici Theater (正乙祠戏楼) (Address: No. 220, Xiheyan, Qianmen, Dongcheng District, Beijing (北京市东城区前门西河沿220号))
- Liyuan Theater (梨园剧场) (No. 175, Yong’an Road, Xicheng District, Beijng (北京市西城区永安路175号)
Best time to visit the Peking Opera
Most of Peking Opera is performed in the evening.
How to get to the theaters of the Peking Opera
There are several buses passing by the theaters mentioned above. Therefore, there are several options.
- Rent a vehicle to the theater. This is the quickest and most direct option.
- Take Bus 6, 15, 822 and Bus 687 to the Stop of Yong’an Road (永安路站) for Liyuan Theater.
- Take Bus 6, 14, 15 and Bus 23 to the Stop of Hufang Bridge (虎坊桥站) for Huguang Guild Hall.
- Take Bus 13, 19 and Bus 21 to the Stop of Fucheng Gate (阜成门站). Then walk to Chang’an Grand Theater
Additional Peking Opera Travel Advice
- Please check out opening hours for your preferred theater for Peking Opera or contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)beforehand.
- Please find more information on Peking Opera that you will understand it more when watching it.
- Please keep quiet at the theater.