Roles in Beijing Opera

There are mainly four role categories: Sheng (the righteous young male character type), Dan (the righteous female character type), Jing (the "painted face" male minor role type with vivid character), and Chou (the "clown", or funny, ridiculous or villain in drama). Each role category has its own characteristic performing skills.

Four Famous Dan actors

It refers to the four outstanding Dan role artists Mei Lanfang, Xun Huisheng, Cheng Yanqiu and Shang Xiaoyun. Ever since the 1920s, characterized by distinguishing styles on the stage, the four people formed their own schools and initiated the new picture of acting the main role as a Dan role, creating a more flourishing and colorful Beijing opera art. Mei Lanfang    

Artistic Forms of Beijing Opera

As a comprehensive art system, the Beijing opera is a combination of singing, speaking, acting, dancing and martial arts. It tells stories and depicts characters through stylized performing skills, expressing all emotions of human beings.

Classical Plays of Beijing Opera

There are over 5800 plays in total in Beijing opera with a large number of classical plays handed down from the past, among which the most famous ones are: Top of the Universe, Chang Ban Po, Gathering of Heroes, The Fisherman's Revenge, Wild Boar Forest, Jade and Spring, The Legend of the White Snake, The Drunken Concubine, The Ruse of Empty City, The Crossroads, Farewell to My Concubine, Yang Silang Visits His Mother, Tears of Wasted Mountain, Lady Zhao Jun Bidding Farewell over the Frontier and Story of Heroic Sons and Daughters, etc.

13 Famous Opera Roles during the Reign of Tongzhi and Guangxu

during the reign of Guangxu in Qing Dynasty, the artist Shen Rongpu created a painting of 13 famous actors of Kun and Beijing operas in costumes in Tongzhi and Guangxu period, which is called 13 Famous Opera Roles during the Reign of Tongzhi and Guangxu by later generations. The 13 figures in the painting were outstanding artists and founders of Beijing opera art at the time, thus the painting also became a classical painting in the history of the opera.

The Movie Farewell My Concubine

It was originally one of the classical plays performed by the Beijing opera master Mei Lanfang. In 1993, the Chinese director Chen Kaige adapted the opera into a movie bearing the same name. The movie was starred by Zhang Guorong, Zhang Fengyi and Gong Li as the leading roles, and once won several awards including the Golden Palm Awards in the 46th Cannes International Film Festival. Through the film we could appreciate the endless charm of Beijing opera art in China.