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Shaanxi Opera

Shaanxi Opera is commonly known as Qin Opera in China. It is the oldest of all the Chinese operas that are still in existence today. This opera is not only popular in Shaanxi, but also in Gansu, Ningxia, Qinghai, Southern Shanxi, Western Henan, Inner Mongolia and Northern Sichuan. During its long history, more than 4,000 traditional programs have been accumulated, which outnumbers those of any other local opera.

The Shaanxi Opera enjoys a long history. Different versions reveal that it possibly originated in the Qin, the Han, the Tang, the Jin, the Yuan, the Ming or the Qing dynasties, but the Tang Dynasty seems most likely to be the answer. It is said that Emperor Xuan Zong, Li Longji, once set up an institute called "Liyuan" for performer training. Royal music and folk songs were taught there. Once the musician Li Guinian, a folk artist, composed an opera The Trumphant Warriors. The opera was later called "Prince Qin's Opera", or "Qin Opera" (Shaanxi Opera). Poems in the Song Dynasty also posed their influence on the Shaanxi Opera by bettering both its content and style.

Shaanxi opera, Xian ToursShaanxi opera, Xian ToursShaanxi opera, Xian Tours
During the reign of Emperor Qian Long in the Qing Dynasty, a famous actor named Wei Changsheng went to Beijing and his superb performances were well received The famous actor of Beijing Opera Mei Lanfang once said:"Beijing Opera is closely linked with the Shaanxi Opera. The major tone 'xipi' in Beijing Opera was said to be created with the influence of Shaanxi Opera. Besides, they are similar in scripts and performances... Shaanxi Opera has a much longer history." Shaanxi Opera can be divided into the western style. Sichuan bangzi belongs to the western, while the Shanxi Opera, Henan Opera, and Hebei bangzi belong to the eastern. As a matter of fact, the Shaanxi Opera is well worth the name "ancestor of all Chinese local operas."

Sonorous and exciting singing is the typical feature of Shaanxi Opera. Since falsetto is not practiced, the sing is always real and unsophisticated. "Shouting when performing" is one of the "ten Shaanxi peculiar phenomena."

Shaanxi opera, Xian Tours

Shaanxi operaShaanxi opera, Xian Tours

In recent years, the Shaanxi Opera in the program "Voice of Shaanxi" over Shaanxi TV appeals particularly to the countrymen. In summer evenings, local people form their own troupes and carry out their own performances at the foot of the city wall. It always attracts large audience. This has become a new form of popular entertainment and enjoyed by all Contests organized by amateur performers from all walks of life not only entertain people, but also help promote the development of the opera.

Where to Enjoy Shaanxi Opera in Xian:

In the Huancheng Park, there are many local people who are crazy about the Shaanxi Opera usually assembly there. Tourists can enjoy free there.

In Xian Yisu Grand Theater (Xian Yisu She). It is the oldest theater in Xian that provides local Shaanxi Opera (Qin Opera). The performances in this theater are regarded as the top of its kinds in Xian. It is always popular with the natives and tourists from home and abroad.
Add: 272, Xiyi Lu, Xian;
Tel: 87283640;
Open Hour: 8:00pm-10:00pm;
ticket fee: RMB80-200

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