Huangmei Opera Excerpts

Anqing Huangmei Opera Troupe, Anhui (Mainland China)

Saturday, March 20, 2004 16:00     Ruins of St. Paul's     Free admission

Huangmei Opera Excerpts:

The Heavenly Match
Teasing Mao Tan
Lamp Festival
The Market
The Journey of Zhao Jun

Anqing Huangmei Opera Troupe, Anhui (Mainland China)

Huangmei opera is one of China’s main regional opera forms. A traditional art form that is accessible to all, it is well adapted as an artistic medium to the ample expression of emotion. Huangmei opera contains both song and dance, and is renowned for pleasant singing and fresh, natural performances. Performers often adapted local folk songs and ditties for the stage, and the stories usually depicted local life, in particular, peasant life.

Huangmei opera was originally known as Huangmei melody and tea-picking opera. It originated in the region where the three provinces of Hubei, Anwei, and Jiangxi meet and in its early form was created by peasants for their own entertainment. In the 1920s, Huangmei opera became a distinct art form that offered an employment opportunity to professional performers. At the same time, it gradually migrated from the village streets to the urban stage.

Known for gentle and beautiful singing, many Huangmei operas have been made into films in Taiwan and Mainland China, the most popular being The Heavenly Match, The Butterfly Lovers and The Emperor’s Female Son-in-law.