Kunqu Opera

Updated: December 16 2008(GMT+08:00)

Kunqu Opera,performance,artistKunqu Opera is one of the oldest forms of opera still existing in China, with its origins dating back to the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). It has distinguished itself by the virtuosity of its rhythmic patterns (changqiang) and has exerted a dominant influence on all the more recent forms of opera in China, including the Sichuan and Beijing operas.

Kunqu Opera, also called Kunshanqiang, is said to be the mother of all Chinese operas. Its beginnings can be traced to the late Yuan Dynasty, some 600 years ago, in the lower Yangtze Valley. Among the earliest genres of drama, the traditional performing art was named for its birthplace, Kunshan, near the city of Suzhou in today's Jiangsu Province of East China.

The development of Kunqu Opera music went through several stages. In the early days, the songs were composed of long and short lines. The singer sang solo, and the orchestra came in at the end of each line. In the course, only percussion instruments were used.

Kunqu Opera is acknowledged as an elegant opera in terms of music, recitation, and the performers' movement. It is foremost acclaimed as "watermill song" because of its soft arias and the graceful movement of its performers. Carrying forward the tradition of ancient poetry and common speech, the art is also of very high literary value.

Kunqu opera,elegant opera,distinctive tuneKunqu has its own distinctive tunes. The orchestra consists of traditional instruments including the dizi, a horizontal bamboo flute which plays the lead part; the xiao, a vertical bamboo flute; the sheng, a mouth organ; and the pipa, a plucked string instrument with a fretted finger board. Many Chinese local operas are greatly influenced by its tunes and acting style.

Today, Kunqu is performed professionally in seven Mainland Chinese cities: Beijing (Northern Kunqu Theatre), Shanghai (Shanghai Kunqu Theatre), Suzhou (Suzhou Kunqu Theatre), Nanjing (Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre), Chenzhou (Hunan Kunqu Theatre), Yongjia County/Wenzhou (Yongjia Kunqu Theatre) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province Kunqu Theatre), as well as in Taipei. Non-professional opera societies are active in many other cities in China and abroad, and opera companies occasionally tour.

Kunqu was listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. Its melody or tune is one of the Four Great Characteristic Melodies in Chinese opera.

Related News
Tulip Flower Show in Zhongshan Park Attracts Tourists
A one month-long Tulip Flower Show has been unveiled recently in Zhongshan Park in Beijing, attracting large numbers of tourists. Tourists can enjoy the sight of many rare breeds like the black...
  • Quick Links
  • Popular Tourist Cities
Shanghai Half-day
Find a China Holiday
Keyword
Entry City
Duration
City
Hotel Name
Check In
Check Out
Star-Rating

Hotline: 1-800-928-9298
Tel:0086-25-83272712
E-mail contact@tourochina.com
If you want us to call you back,
Please click Here

Related Links  Travel Line  Links
Shanghai Tours Xian Tours Nanjing Tours Yangshuo Tours Tibet Tours Silk Road Tours China Tours 2011 Yangtze River Cruises
beijing Tours Chengdu Tours Hangzhou Tours China Vacations Guilin Tours China Travel Guide China Travel Agency China Tours
Yunnan Tours Chongqing Tours Suzhou Tours Mt. Yellow Tours China Tour Packages China Travel Service China Travel Specials Luxury China Tours
Partner sites:
Shanghai Travel 中國旅遊