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Located in the south of Hubei, known as "the South Gate of Hubei", Xianning has great renown for “Chibi old haunt of the Three Kingdoms, inland nuclear power city”, which has great advantages of its "mountain", "water" "geography","location","culture","scenery","energy"and the trend of development. Xianning is a suitable place to do ...[more]
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Xianning City, attached to Hubei Province, known as “the southern gateway to Hubei”, is famous for sweet-scented os... [more]
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Lying in the southeast of Hubei Province, along the south bank of the Yangtze River, and at the junction of Hunan, Hu... [more]
History
 Despite the late administrative construction of Xianning (prefecture-level city), the counties and urban districts under its administration all have a long history. The territory of today’s Xianning belonged to Jing Chu in the Xia and Shang Dynasties ( about 2200-1100 BC), Nan County in the Qin Dynasty(221-206 BC ), [more]
Hui Opera — the Predecessor of Peking Opera
http://English.xianning.gov.cn 09-04-09
 

  Hui Opera originated from the “elegant tune of Huizhou and Chizhou” in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). During the era of Jiajing, an emperor of the Ming Dynasty from 1521 to 1567 AD, Yiyang tune-pattern in Jiangxi province spread to the areas of Qingyang and Guichi in Anhui province, and combined with the folk tunes which the local people loved to hear and see. On the basis of the absorption of Yiyang tune-pattern, artists from the place where Huizhou government located created a new one, so Huizhou tune-pattern was formed, Qingyang tune-pattern with local characteristics was formed. And with the effect of the folk songs and ditties and Kun Opera, Qingyang tune-pattern became the predecessor of Hui Opera. During the era of Qianlong, an emperor of Qing Dynasty from 1735 to 1795 AD, “Hui Drama” was formed, now it is called “Hui Opera”. The character of Hui Opera is that it’s a rolling tune, not only the characters in the drama have vast space to pour out their inner feelings of gloom and indignation, but itself has a rich narrative form. The main tunes of Hui Opera are blowing, siping, plectrum and erhuang, but ditties such as xipi, high tune-pattern, Kun tune-pattern, Kunyi tune-pattern and coloratura are also sung. Hui Opera has many repertoires, it’s good at acting full-scale dramas of history, and the music tune and performing skill are very rich. In the mid-Qing Dynasty, Hui Opera was widespread, and had a profound impact on many operas in the south of China. Hui Opera has swept the country, and has become a perfect drama that pays equal attention to singing, reading, doing and acrobatics. In the era of Qianlong, famous artists of Hui Opera such as Gao Langting, Hao Tianshou, performed Hui Opera in Yangzhou, in Jiangsu province of China. At that time, Yangzhou was one of Chinese cultural centers and the concentration of “flower department”, but soon, it was overwhelmed by the exquisite art of Hui Opera. At that time, there were over 47 troupes in Huizhou, Dashouchun, which belonged to them, was unexpectedly to have over 180 artistic members. The main Hui troupes are:

  Laoqingsheng

  This troupe is the father of Hui troupes. It has abundant strength, rigorous regulation, complete business and enormous lineup.

  Laoyangchun

  This troupe, as opposed to the establishment of Xinyangchun, is famous for Kun Opera. It has 28 boxes paraphernalia, 72 artistic members and 30 netlike scarves. It usually performs over 200 repertoires.

  Zhuangchunhe

  It’s a troupe based on the principle of xipi and erhuang, two chief types of tune in traditional Chinese operas.

  Caiqing Troupe 1

  It is famous for the performance of the “good omen”.

  Chuntai Troupe

  This troupe went to Beijing to celebrate the octogenarian birthday of Emperor Qianlong. It was rated as one of “Four Hui Troupes” because of its preeminent skill.

  Qingsheng Troupe

  This troupe was rated as one of “Four Hui Troupes” outside Beijing because of its superior skill.

  Caiqing Troupe 2

  This troupe was subsidized by many businessmen in Hui City, and was formed by aggregate famous artists. On every third of March, it will participate in the performance of the “meeting of treasure competition” in Huizhou and the magnificent gathering of the four villages.

  Fengwu Troupe

  This troupe was set up in 1927, namely 15 years after the establishment of the Republic of China. Fengwu Troupe, Xincaiqing, Eryangchun and Kechangchun are called the “New Four Hui Troupes”.

  It was fifty-five years after Qianlong became the emperor that Gao Langting again introduced Hui Opera to Beijing, and was welcomed by the local people. Then, Hui troupes such as “Sixi”, “Chuntai” and “Hechun” were introduced to Beijing too. Han Opera was introduced to Beijing soon after Hui Opera. Hui Opera absorbed xipi from Han Opera, and further enriched and developed its own tune. Since then, Hui Opera not only broke in the imperial palace, shook Beijing, but also spread widely, and affected the whole country. It took root in the north of China, gradually absorbed Beijing dialect and combined the northern language with its own high tune-pattern, then developed into Peking Opera. Hui Opera has a profound and lasting influence on the south opera, Gan Opera in Jiangxi province, Chuan Opera in Sichuan province, Yue Opera in Guangdong province, Gui Opera in Guangxu province and Dian Opera in Yunnan province are effected by Hui Opera with various degrees. The outstanding representative who has made prominent contributions to the performing arts of Hui Opera is the old artist Cheng Changgeng. Cheng Changgeng comes from Qianshan in Anhui, his name is Chun, and his secondary personal name is Yushan. He integrated and used together the Hui language, Jing language and Chu language, refined and innovated them, then a brilliant style came into being. To Hui Opera, he inherited the past, and to Peking Opera, he ushered in the future. Therefore, he was the founder of Peking Opera. The performing arts of Hui Opera are rich and colorful. Hui Opera pays attention to the platform and martial arts of dais, pays attention to the sculptural beauty of the figure and appearance, pays attention to the character’s shape and the picture’s dignified air, and so on. The platform and martial arts of dais highlight most in Hui Opera, the platform such as “kick alone with one foot”, “kick alone with legs diverged”, “sword door” and “flying fork”, etc. are all extraordinarily breathtaking, as for the martial arts of dais, it is more dangerous, generally the performers need to loop three tables, some need to loop seven. The figure and appearance in Hui Opera have strong sculptural and artistic sense. Hui Opera pays much attention to the collective performance. Performers will sing and dance simultaneously if necessary, so it shows a splendid momentum and a fiery scene. Hui Opera has many repertoires, according to the records, there are 1404, but as many years have passed, most of them are handwritten, and some of them have been lost. After liberation in 1949, as the work of excavation and arrangement, representative repertoires that have rich characteristics of Hui Opera are The Loyal Tiger Repays an Obligation, The Artful Marriage,The King of Qi counts the horses, Flood the whole troops, and so on.

  Lu Opera

  Lu Opera was called “Daoqixi” in ancient times, and renamed after liberation. Lu Opera is popular in the areas of central Anhui and the west of Anhui, which has a large population of more than 10 million, and it’s the biggest type of opera in Anhui province. Lu Opera originated relatively early, it’s said that there were occupational roving troupes in the years of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom (1851 -1864 AD). Based on the folk songs of the Dabie Mountains and the songs and dances between Yangze River and Huai River, Lu Opera has absorbed the tunes and operas from Duangong Play, Haizi Play, Menge and so on.

  Huai Opera

  Huai Opera has a history of a century, it’s famous for its full-bodied local flavor and its rough and plain characteristics, Huai troupes of Shanghai have accumulated more than 2000 repertoires, big or small. Hui Opera, also called “Jianghuai Drama”, originated from the areas of Yancheng and Funing in Jiangsu province. Hui Opera was developed and formed as the local folk tune “Mentan Poem” absorbed the performing form and repertoire of Hui Opera. It is 100 years old. At the beginning of 20th century, the artists of Hui Opera firstly performed operettas such as the Record of Medicinal Tea, Pan Gate, and so on. It was well received by the people of northern Suzhou because of its full-bodied local flavor and its rough and plain characteristics. From the 1930s to 1940s, many theatrical troupes, together with Huai Opera troupes like Lianyi and Zhicheng performed in Shanghai, performers like Jiang Deyou, Xie Changyu, Liang Guangyou, etc., were well received by the audiences. In the 1950s, Hui Opera was further developed, the number of its troupe was so many that it ranked only after Yue Opera and Hu Opera. In 1953, the People’s Huai Opera Troupe of Shanghai was established. Until the 1960s, there were more than 10 reserved repertoires such as the White Snake, the Morning of the Seaport, the Daughter of the Party, the Female Judge, and so on. Since the late 1920s, Shanghai Huai Opera has a new development. Shanghai Hui Opera troupes accumulate more than 2000 repertoires which are big or small over the years. The famous performers of Huai Opera are Xiao Wenyan, He Jiaotian, Ma Xiuying, Wu Xiaofeng, and so on.

  Kun Opera

  Kun Opera is an old type of drama in China, it’s also called Kunshan Tune, and with a history of more than 500 years, it’s popular in the areas of Kuanshan, Jiangsu province. During the era of emperor Jiajing, the opera musician Wei Liangfu absorbed the strengths of Haiyan tune-pattern and Yiyang tune-pattern, and reformed Kun tune-pattern, then created the famous tune-pattern “Shuimo”, so the music of Kun Opera developed greatly. There is a complete performing system and a unique tune system in Kun Opera. The repertoire of Kun Opera is rich, the tune is fresh and mild, and the performance is graceful and appealing. The band performs with flutes mostly, but musical instruments such as the pipe, sheng, lute, etc. are also used. Its tune of music and its dance of performance have a great influence on other repertoires. Kun Opera is divided into Southern Kun Opera and Northern Kun Opera, the one famous in the north is called Northern Kun Opera, and the one famous in the area of Jiangzhe is called Southern Kun Opera. The famous performers of Kun Opera are Yu Zhenfei, Han Shichang, Li Shujun, and so on.

  Yang Opera

  Yang Opera is famous in the areas of Nanjing, Yangzhou and Zhenjiang in Jiangsu province. In 1935, it came from “Weiyang Big Troupe” (Xianghuo Drama), a troupe that sings the sacred book. Percussion music such as bass drum, bass gong is the main rhyme. The main accompaniments are musical instruments like erhu, sanxian, sihu, yueqin, lute, dulcimer and flute. After Yang Opera was formed, “Weiyang Literary Drama” became the main subject. The main repertoires are Be in Command at 100 Years Old, A Letter from the Swan Goose, Go to the Jinshan Temple, and so on.

  Kun Tune-pattern

  Kun Tune-pattern is also called “Kunshan Tune-pattern”, “Kun Opera” or “Kun Drama”. It originated from Kunshan, Jiangsu province. According to South Words Citation written by Wei Liangfu who was an artist and opera musician in Ming Dynasty, Kun Tune-pattern was created by Gu Jian who was a dramatist in the end of Yuan Dynasty. In the book “Added Record of Jinglin” written by Zhou Xuan, it said that the first Emperor of Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang once talked about Kunshan Tune-pattern when summoning the old man in Kunshan, Zhou Shouyi. It’s generally acknowledged that in the era of Jiajing, Wei Fuliang formed Kun Tune-pattern by absorbing the rhyme of Haiyan tune-pattern and Yiyang tune-pattern, then after being processing and improving, its influence gradually expanded. Wei Liangfu coordinated with the romancist Liang Chenyu (1521 AD-1594 AD) to write the repertoire Record of Huansha, made it a script meeting the rhythm of Kun Tune-pattern, playing an important role in accelerating the spread of Kun Tune-pattern. The tune of Kun Tune-pattern is exquisite and euphemistic, so it’s also called “Shuimo tune”. The accompaniment instruments are flute, pipe, sheng, lute, etc., the style of performance is graceful, and the dance is powerful. In the stage art, Kun Tune-pattern has made a summary for the opera heritage since Song Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty, and has created a perfect performance system. Its popular areas gradually expand, and it has profound influence on many other operas. Kun Tune-pattern has produced many branches such as North Kun Tune, Xiang Kun Tune, Chuan Kun Tune, Ning Kun Tune, and so on, thus forms a tune system. In the middle period of Qing Dynasty, the local opera flourished, and Kun Tune-pattern declined that it almost disappeared on the stage, while some repertoires and performing arts were preserved in operas like Peking Opera, Chuan Opera, Hui Opera, etc. After liberation, a series of works such as saving heritages, collecting traditional repertoires, reforming arts, cultivating young performers, etc have been done, thus give Kun Tune-pattern a new life. Traditional repertoires played often are single plays such as Peony Pavilion, Think of Worldly Pleasure, Pipe Dream, Drunk Soap, Kneeling Pool, etc, and plays after being recomposed such as Taibai Drunk to Write, Fifteen Strings of Copper Cash, the Story of Western Garden, etc.

  Dan Opera

  Dan Opera is popular in Danyang, Jiangsu province. On the basis of opera “Langdang”, department absorbed the local folk songs, ditties and labor songs in 1958, and added accompaniment instruments, then developed into a kind of opera with the influence of other operas. Its first name was “Langdang Opera”, and got its present name in 1959.


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