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Yue Opera



Sort:Traditional Opera

Area:Shanghai, Zhejiang

Serial No.:IV-53

Declarer:Shengzhou City, Zhejiang Province, Shanghai

Yue Opera is popular in the region south of the Yangtze River, and is especially popular in Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Jiangsu. It originated in Shengzhou County in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province in the early 20th century. It was named Yue Opera because it originated in part of the Yue State (Zhejiang) in the Spring and Autumn Period about 2,000 years ago.

It first appeared at the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), starting with only narration and singing. As the performers sang to the accompaniment of a rhythmic didu, didu sound made by a drum and sandalwood clappers, they were also called "Didu troupes." In the late 1920s, with the emergence of a large number of female performers, a Didu troupe with only female performers appeared; it was called the Women's Refined Opera. In the autumn of 1938, it formally adopted the name of Yueju. Later, orchestra accompaniment was added.

Absorbing the elements of Shaoxing Opera, it enriched them and created its own type of music. Yue Opera is excellent at expressing emotions through singing. In the 1950s, a reform of Yueju started, under the influence of Yuan Xuefen. Maintaining its soft, sweet tunes and melodies, and gentle and refined style, Yue Opera adopted artistic achievements from the modern drama, Kunqu Opera and Western music, in an attempt to create a new performance style. The women artists replaced the Mu Biao system (Each drama used to have only an outline, rather than a script; actors performed as they wished, but within the outline.) with scripts.

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