Shaoxing Opera is a local Chinese opera popular in the southern regions of the Changjiang (Yangtze) River.
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It originated around Shengxian County, Zhejiang Province, which belonged to the Yue State in ancient times and therefore it was also called Yue Opera. Shaoxing Opera has a history of about 80 years. It was derived from a kind of story-singing. At first, it was performed with only a small drum and hardwood clappers for rhythm and later, choral and orchestral accompaniment were added. It also drew some musical elements from Shao Opera and subsequently formed its own style.
Shaoxing Opera is noted for its lyricism and singing is dominant in it. Its tune is sweet and beautiful and the performance vivid and moving, full of local colour. Originally Shaoxing Opera was only performed by males who were later all replaced by females. After the founding of the People's Republic of China , both males and females performed together.
Well-known performers of Shaoxing Opera include Yuan Xuefen, Fu Quanxiang, Fan Ruijuan, Xu Yulan and Wang Wenjuan.
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