Peking Opera has entertained audiences for more than 200 years with its elaborate costumes, ear-splitting areas, dazzling martial arts and musical dialogue.
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Most Peking Operas are unintelligible to the untrained viewer, but they are usually based on folk tales, famous novels and fairy tales and are a pleasure to watch if you know the basic story. The theatre has subtitle message so even if you don’t know the story you can still follow along. Characters are classified into three basic categories: the male roles, called “sheng,” female roles or “dan,” and clown or “chou.” The nature of each character is shown through the different colours of the facial makeup. For instance, red usually means evil or sly, and black and white face makeup denotes authority.
In the early days of the 20th century, millions went to the Opera house-more like a teahouse or a variety theatre—and largely through the acting genius of the late Mei Lanfang 梅兰芳(1894-1961), Peking Opera even influenced Western artists such as Charles Spencer Chaplin 卓别林(1889-1977) in England and playwright Bertold Brecht 布来希特 (1898-1956) in Germany.
Only things that are national in style will be accepted internationally. 只有体现民族风格的东西才能被国际上所接受.
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- Peking Opera
has entertained audiences for more than 200 years with its elaborate costumes, ear-splitting areas, dazzling martial arts and musical dialogue.