A Night at the Opera: Your Quintessential Guide to Xiqu

By That's Beijing, June 28, 2019

0 0

In our ‘Night at the Opera’ series, our June 2019 cover story, we take a deep dive into traditional Chinese opera.

It’s no overstatement that xiqu, the general term for Chinese drama, is the pride and joy of Chinese theater. Dating back centuries, the imperial art form has been adapted and reimagined time and time again, with various styles birthed in the process. 

From legendary performances by the most famous Peking opera actor Mei Lanfang to Shanghai’s ambitious staging of Tang Xianzu’s Peony Pavilion in 1998, China’s traditional theater practice has continued to thrive, with passionate drama devotees keeping the sacred art form alive through the years. 

As theater troupes journeyed to the West to translate poignant dramas to global audiences, xiqu earned a reputation overseas, evolving and changing into contemporary forms.That’s takes you on a quintessential xiqu journey, from the most monumental moments in the history of Chinese theater to its modern evolution. 

Click through each of the posts below to read all about its history, hear from opera actor Liu Jianyang and even learn how to interpret hand gestures and identify characters simply by their face masks.

The Show Must Go On: How Chinese Opera Came to Be and Is Changing to Survive

Chinese Opera Actor Liu Jianyang Talks His Life as the Monkey King

Understanding the Hand Gestures and Face Masks of Chinese Opera

more news

Understanding the Hand Gestures and Face Masks of Chinese Opera

A breakdown of some of the most notable hand gestures and face masks that appear in Chinese opera performances.

The Show Must Go On: How Chinese Opera Came to Be and Is Changing to Survive

Becoming a Chinese opera actor is not what young Chinese dream of anymore, but a host of performers and producers are not giving up on this historic art form.

Beijing Scottish Society Burns Night 2016

Celebrate the life and poetry of Scottish bard, Robert Burns, with a dinner and dance.

#ThatsBeijing Instagram of the Week: @gioquina

Here is our most popular Instagram of the week. Use #ThatsBeijing to be featured.

Escape the Winter Chill with This Foldable Sauna

Nothing says ‘I value you as a person’ like giving them a sauna – so we’ve been told.

Meet the Clowns Bringing Laughter to China's Migrant Children

The Toad King and Frog Emperor raise a smile.

This Week in History: Japanese Takeover of the International Settlement

An inside look at the Japanese takeover of Shanghai's International Settlement, which began on December 8, 1941.

Meet the Chinese Musician Who is Nuts About Festive Nutcrackers

Nuts for nutcrackers: one shop owner's obsession.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsBeijing for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Beijing With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Beijing!

Visit the archives

Get the App. Your essential China city companion.