Chinese Hebei Clapper Opera
Chinese Hebei Clapper Opera is one of the major forms of local opera in Hebei Province.
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Formerly known as Jing Bangzi, Zhili Bangzi and Wei (Tianjin) Bangzi, it adopted the official name of Hebei Clapper Opera in 1952. It is very popular in Beijing, Tianjin and some regions of Hebei, Liaoning , Jilin, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia and Shandong Provinces. Hebei Clapper Opera is derived from Qinqiang and Shanxi Clapper Operas which were introduced to Hebei Province in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. Singing in Beijing dialect, its division of roles and its performance style are similar to Beijing Oprea.
Xu Sheng (a male role with whiskers) plays the leading male role and his tune is forceful and solemn. The Qing Yi (female role) emphasizes singing with a loud and clear tune whereas Hua Dan stresses acting and dialogue. The tune sung by Hua Lian (a male role with painted face) is rustic and vigorous. Hebei Clapper Opera has a special acting role, the Jing Sheng , which combines Sheng costumes, Jing tunes and the performance style of both Jing and Sheng. Tune patterns of Hebei Clapper Opera include Man Ban (4/4, slow beat), Er Liu ('two-six' fast 2/4), Liu Shui ('flowing water' fast 1/4), Jian Ban (free beat, usually as prelude) and Ku Ban ('walling tune' free deat). The accompanying instruments are: Ban Hu (two-stringed Chinese fiddle), Di Zi (horizontal bamboo flute), Sheng (mouth organ) and percussion. The repertoire of Hebei Clapper Opera has more than 500 traditional and 200 contemporary plays. Well-known performers are Li Guiyun, Han Junqing and Yin Dazi.
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