京剧:夜深沉 - Beijing Opera: Ye Shen Chen

Chinese Opera Singer




京剧 or BeiJing opera was initially an exclusively male pursuit. The Qianlong Emperor had banned all female performers in Beijing in 1772. The appearance of women on the stage began unofficially during the 1870s. 


Female performers began to impersonate male roles and declared equality with men. They were given a venue for their talents when Li Maoer, himself a former Peking-opera performer, founded the first female Peking-opera troupe in Shanghai. By 1894, the first commercial venue showcasing female performance troupes appeared in Shanghai. This encouraged other female troupes to form, which gradually increased in popularity. As a result, theatre artist Yu Zhenting petitioned for the lifting of the ban after the founding of the Republic of China in 1911. This was accepted, and the ban was lifted in 1912, although male Dan continued to be popular after this period.


Did you know?

The major instruments of Beijing Opera are the percussion block (板), single-skin drum (单皮鼓), Chinese large gong (大锣), jinghu (京胡), jing erhu (京二胡), yueqin (月琴), and sanxian (三弦).

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