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Sichuan Opera

Sichuan Opera is a local opera originating in Sichuan around 1700 in the Qing Dynasty. Now Sichuan opera is actually a perfect combination of 5 opera styles. It is renowned for unique solos, refined acting, rich percussion, and talented comedians. Chengdu is the main home of Sichuan opera, while other important locales include Chongqing, Guizhou, Yunnan, Hubei and Taiwan. The opera is currently applying to be enlisted as an Intangible World Heritage.

Chengdu is home to various operas. Initially there were 5 different opera styles, which developed and performed respectively, and vary greatly. During the reigns of Emperor Yongzheng and Emperor Qianlong in the Qing dynasty (1636~1911), in the Huabu areas, Kunqu, Yiyang, Bangzi and Pihuang melody played on the same stage, and merged with local languages, folk customs, ditties, yang-kos and Dengdiao (lantern opera) in Sichuan. Sichuan opera then emerged, and took the name to distinguish from Peking Opera and Han Opera. 
 
Sichuan Opera features with lively, humorous dialogues, singing, and a series of stunts. Regarding the singing, Sichuan opera consists of five different sonic systems, which are Gaoqiang, Huqin, Dengdiao, Tanxi, and Kunqu. Sichuan Opera is famous for its high-pitched tunes, accompanied by percussion instruments, choruses, and Muqin (an instrument similar to Erhu). Established in Chengdu in 1912, the Sanqinghui troupe officially integrated all of these five systems into a unique system of acting, singing, and instrumental music.

Sichuan Opera are usually adapted from the Chinese classical novels, mythologies, legends, and folk stories. To portray special characters, the opera utilizes stunts, including tihuiyan, sword-hiding, fire-spitting, beard-changing and the famous "face-changing". "Face-changing" is an amazing artistic form, and can be achieved by tearing off, rubbing, or blowing away a mask to reveal another in a moment right on stage.

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