Shufengyayun Sichuan Opera House
As an added bonus, our local guide asked if
anyone was interested in attending an opera in the park, our first
evening in Chengdu. The
guide called for three taxis and off we went to the
Shufengyayun Tea and Art House
situated in Qingyang Palace in Chengdu Culture Park.
The admission price was 100 Yuan (about $12). The show and tea
service was worth the admission.
We arrived early and had front row seating for
Sichuanese Opera is a type of Chinese
opera originating in China's Sichuan province around 1700.
Regionally Chengdu remains the
main home of Sichuanese opera.
history of Chinese operas, initially there were 5 distinct opera
styles. The history of each style varies greatly.
one of the Chinese operatic styles began as early as the Three
During the early 20th century, a revival movement began to
reform the art. The best known reformer was Kang Zhilin, who led the
Sanqinq (Three Celebrations) Company. This company was one of the most
notable opera troupes, established in 1912, and combined the 5 styles
into a single opera on the same stage.
Each style retained its own music. One of the classic skills
devised by Kang Zhilin included a high kick that leaves a "third eye"
in the middle of the forehead. This has remained one of Sichuanese
opera's trademark moves.
Overall the art form is well known for its
singing, which is less constrained than that of the more
popular Beijing opera form. Sichuan opera is more like a play than
other forms of Chinese opera, and the acting is highly polished. The
music accompanying Sichuanese opera utilizes a small gong and an
instrument called a Muqin (Chinese violin).
The traditional formula is quite systematic with
a combination of stunts like face-changing, sword-hiding,
fire-spitting and beard-changing with the plot and different
This opera had all the elements as explained
above. We all had a great
time, especially with the waiter using the eagle tea can to fill our
Click on a picture to enlarge.