Shaoxing opera

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Two actors during a Shaoxing opera performance

Yue opera (simplified Chinese: 越剧; traditional Chinese: 越劇; pinyin: Yuèjù) is a form of Chinese opera founded around 1906 in Shengzhou, Zhejiang province. Over time, it grew in popularity, now being the most popular form of Chinese opera after the Peking opera.12 It is highly popular in Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Fujian, while its audiences are all over China.

Originated from the folks and ballad singing of rural area in Zhejiang, by drawing the experience of other developed Chinese opera forms such as Peking opera and Kunqu, Yueju Opera became popular in Shanghai in early 1930s. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Yueju performers in Shanghai launched a movement to reform the Yueju performance, including learning from Western cultures, which made Yueju opera remarkably different from other forms of Chinese opera. After the foundation of People's Republic of China, Yueju opera was welcomed by the government and Communist Party of China at first, and reached a pinnacle popularity in late 1950s and early 1960s. However, during the Cultural Revolution, like other traditional Chinese art forms, Yueju performances were outlawed, which caused a serious setback in its development. Since the 1980s, Yueju became popular again, while being challenged by new amusement forms.

Yueju opera features are elegant and soft, which made it suitable for telling love stories. It was initially performed by men only, but female groups started performing in the style in 1923, and during the 1930s, the form became female-only.3

Notable actors


  1. ^ Yueju Opera: Century-old art
  2. ^ Jiang, Jin (2009). Women Playing Men: Yue Opera and Social Change in Twentieth-Century Shanghai. University of Washington Press. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-295-98844-3. 
  3. ^ "Hometown of Yueju Opera Marks 100th Anniversary". Reprint from China Daily, April 6, 2006. China Internet Information Center. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 

External links