Hui Opera

2010-12-08 作者: China Today   信息来源: China Today

To fully appreciate the Hui culture, one must watch Hui Opera, a popular entertainment in Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

At the turn of the Ming and Qing dynasties, artists from Huizhou tried to incorporate two folk traditions – the Yiyang Tune and Xiqin Tune – into their performances. After years of evolution, around the middle of the Qing Dynasty, a new opera form was born. Hui Opera encompasses singing, recitative, gesticulating and acrobatics as its basic compositional forms. Early on, Hui Opera was popular only in the southern areas, but it soon became a vogue around the country as Hui merchants unveiled it to more and more audiences where they went.

During Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the Qing Dynasty, four Hui Opera troupes – Sanqing, Chuntai, Sixi and Hechun – were introduced into the capital and their successful performance in Beijing raised Hui Opera to its zenith and set the stage for the best internationally known Chinese opera form of all time. During Emperor Daoguang’s reign (1820-1850) of the Qing Dynasty, actors in Beijing further developed Hui Opera into what we know as Peking Opera, by combining it with the Han Opera of Hubei Province and other forms. The four Hui Opera troupes’ performing in Beijing is considered a prelude to the birth of Peking Opera. Hui Opera is similar to contemporary performances of Peking Opera in terms of artistic style. Although the development of Hui Opera has been all but abandoned today, its artistic form is conscientiously protected and kept vital with regular performances. Today, selections of classic Hui operas are often staged at the Huijing Theater in Hefei City of Anhui Province.

If one wants to know the history of Hui Opera, the Xiangming Grand Theater in Huangshan City stages the singing and dancing extravaganza Hui Yun (The Charm of Huizhou). It displays the amazing scenery of Huangshan Mountain and tells the story of Hui merchants and the history of Hui Opera. English subtitles are provided for the convenience of foreign audiences.