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Pingnan Siping Opera

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2011-11-09

Artistic Features:

Pingnan Siping Opera has always maintained the tradition of singing and speaking in “native Mandarin” and the tradition of Gao Qiang, according to which one person sings on the stage while others accompany the singer behind the scenes. The melody is resounding, passionate, simple and smooth. The lyrics are popular, and the use of tunes is unrestricted. An unmodified voice is mainly adopted and alternated with a falsetto voice from time to time. One person sings and others echo. The opera also retains much of the performance system of Zaju, which flourished during the Song and Yuan dynasties.

Pingnan Siping Opera
Pingnan Siping Opera

Historical Evolution:

Pingnan Siping Opera retains the original characteristics of Yiyang Gao Giang, the simple and traditional performance style of Southern Opera, the characteristic of combining elegance and vulgarity in text and performance, and has many other features closely related to religions and folk customs. At one time Chinese experts in theatrical circles all thought that Siping Tune had disappeared in China and recorded it in Chinese Opera Dictionary. To their surprise, it was discovered in Pingnan County in early 1980s, causing a sensation throughout Chinese theatrical circles. Many ancient manuscripts (Qing Dynasty) of the Southern Opera in the Song Dynasty(960-1279) and legendary plays in the Ming(1368-1644) and Qing(1644-1911) dynasties have been preserved. Besides, Siping Opera “misuses vernacular”, makes impromptu comic gestures and remarks, maintains a lot of oral literature and studies ancient rhymes, sonification, tunes, singing and acrobatic fighting.


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