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Current Location: Homepage » Chinese Culture » Chinese Opera 中国戏曲 » Main Body

Traditional Drama 传统戏剧 Anhui Opera 徽剧

Profile:Anhui Opera 徽剧
Date: 2006
Category: Traditional Opera
Region: Anhui Province and Jiangxi Province
Project No. IV-29
Name of Applicant (region or institution): Anhui Province, Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province
Anhui Opera is an important tune of local opera, mainly prevalent within Anhui Province and the area of Wuyuan County, Jiangxi Province. At the turn of Ming and Qing Dynasties, the varied tune spread to Anhui and merged with local tune and folk music, forming the Bozi Tone in Shipai, Zongyang and Tongcheng of the then Anqing Prefecture. During the reign of Qianlong, the Bozi Tone gradually mixed with the Blowing Tone derived from the Siping tone, forming the Erhuang Tone. Then the Erhuang Tone merged with Xipi Tone of Hubei, forming Pihuang Complex, laying a foundation for Anhui Opera.
The tone of Anhui Opera falls into Huikun, Blowing Tone, Bozi Tone, Erhuang, Xipi, and Varied Tone. The Huikun Tone is mainly about martial performance, using trumpet and drum and gong to set up an overwhelming atmosphere; the Blowing Tone uses date-tree wooden clappers for making the beat with accompaniment of trumpet, flute and Huihu fiddle; erhuang takes Huihu fiddle as the major musical instrument, with clapper patterns of Daoban (conducting clappers), Yuanban (original clappers), Huilong (repetition) and Liushui (flowing); Xipi has Quiet Setting and Dynamic Setting of Daoban (conducting clappers), Sanban (mincing clappers), Yaoban (rolling clappers), and Erliu (two-six clappers), also with Huihu fiddle as the main music instrument; Huaqiang is basically comprised of folk tunes, presenting odds and ends of everyday life. The roles of Anhui Opera include Mo (middle-aged male), Sheng (male), Xiaosheng (young male), Wai (secondary role), Dan (female), Tie (secondary female), Jing (painted face) and Chou (clown). The performance is very hot and exciting with gruff actions in a masculine manner, in particular the part of martial arts which includes the stunning performance of somersault, ring jump, flame ring, flying fork, rolling lamp, and face changing.
Anhui Opera has a full array of regular programs. In detail, Huikun Opera is basically focused on aspect of martial arts, including Capturing Meng Huo the Seventh Time, Diagram of Eight-formation, The Story of Badaling, Justice of Heroes, Falling Copper Flag, and White Deer Blood; Kunyi Tone includes Zhaojun outside the Frontier, The Drunken Concubine, and Catkin of Reed; Blowing Tone and Bozi Tone include Fine Steed, The Meshing of Seal, Phoenix Mountain, and Silt River; Xipi Tone includes The Fight of Fancheng and Abandoning Chengdu; Pihuang Tone includes Dragon-tiger Fight, Uprising of Shaoguan, Universal Peak, and Misunderstanding at Garden; and Varied Tone includes Lida Sounding the Watches and Verbal Attack during Visiting Relatives.
Today, Anhui Opera has already existed for over 300 years and played a significant role in the development course of Chinese traditional operas. It has not only nurtured the growth of Peking Opera, but related closely to scores of local opera branches in both south and north of China. Meanwhile, Anhui Opera is an important part of Huizhou culture, reflecting vividly the characteristics of Huizhou culture and even those of Chinese traditional culture, which is worth further studies. However, at present, Anhui Opera is facing a crisis of extinction. The performers are getting on years while there is lack of people to inherit besides shortage of funds. There are fewer and fewer performers of Anhui Opera now, so the salvation, exploration and preservation have to be started now by protecting the senior artists first. Otherwise, the good opportunities could be missed and people will be left regretting over it in the future.

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