Sichuan Opera: Ancient and artistic
Sichuan Opera originated at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with migrants flooding into Sichuan.
Inscribed on the national intangible heritage list in 2006, the ancient art form is widely known for its less constrained singing than the more popular Peking opera.
Dramas are blended with local dialects, customs, folk music and dances into a more humorous form of opera unique to Sichuan culture.
Face changing is the highlight, a legacy from ancient times when it is said people painted their faces to drive away wild animals. Modern Sichuan Opera has perfected it into an art. The dramatic art and skill requires a high degree of integration. Artists make their own masks and no one else knows how they work as one image flicks in front of another.
Different masks represent changing demeanors and states of mind to show emotions and sudden switches in mood to achieve the artistic effect.