10 masterpieces in traditional Peking Opera repertoire

Story of Su San is staged in Shanghai, Oct 28, 2016. [Photo/VCG]

Peking Opera, with a history of more than 200 years, is one of China’s major traditional art forms. Combining instrumental music, vocal performances, mime, dance and acrobatics, it has been inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage list since 2010.

It features four main types of performers, called sheng (male role), dan (female role), jing (painted-face male role) and chou (clown).

Peking Opera uses simple stage settings and props, which usually are just a couple of chairs and tables. To represent big items, such as boats or mountains, it relies on stage performances instead of actual installations.

For costumes and headdresses, Peking Opera performers use bright and contrasting colors, which are strictly based on the rank, occupation and lifestyle of different characters. Their faces are painted with elaborate make-up, also indicating a character’s social status and personality.

The list of Peking Opera classics is too long to enumerate. Here, you can have a glimpse of 10 selected masterpieces and get ready to fall in love with them!

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