Yueju, (Guangdong Guangxi opera


Yueju, (Guangdong Guangxi opera
Sung-drama, opera
The main regional drama style of Guangdong, Guangxi, Hong Kong and Macau, and very popular among many originally Cantonese Chinese living outside China, Yueju is one of the largest in scale of Chinese regional styles. It is usually called Cantonese Opera in English. This avoids the confusion with Zhejiang Opera, which has the same sound (Yueju) but different characters. Cantonese Opera arose in the eighteenth century, belonging to the pihuang system of Chinese regional drama (see Xiqu). Its proximity to Hong Kong ensured outside impact in music, costumes and staging, and from the cinema.
Musically, the Cantonese Opera has adopted local folk music as well as a few Western influences. Musical instruments are mainly traditional wind, string and percussion, including the yangqin (dulcimer), but Western instruments such as the saxophone, violin and violoncello have been added and remain in use.
Under the PRC, Cantonese Opera has done well, other than during the Cultural Revolution. The main professional troupe is the Guangdong Provincial Cantonese Opera Company (Guangdongsheng Yuejuyuan), established in 1958. However, there are many others in Guangzhou and the other main cities of Guangdong and Guangxi. The new and rising city of Shenzhen has aspirations as a cultural centre, and the Shenzhen Municipal Cantonese Opera Company (Shenzhenshi Yuejutuan), dating from 1980, has shown itself especially active and innovative in producing new Cantonese operas, on both traditional and contemporary themes. Probably, however, the most innovative work is carried out in Hong Kong.
Yung, Bell (1989). Cantonese Opera: Performance as Creative Process. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
COLIN MACKERRAS

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.


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