Anhui Opera

Home Culture 2019-05-04

Anhui Opera

Hui Opera, one of the local operas in Anhui Province of China, originally known as "Hui Diao" and "Erhuang Diao", originated in the Ming Dynasty and was named Hui Opera after 1949.

There are 1404 traditional Hui Opera repertoires and 753 archives. Its content ranges from disputes among nations, major events of palace relocation, fairies and ghosts to folk life stories. The music and singing tone of Hui Opera are beautiful and complete. It is mainly divided into nine categories: Qingyang Tune, Siping Tune, Huikun Tune, Blowing Tune, Diao Zi, Erhuang Tune, Xipi Tune and Huaqiang Minor Tune. The main vocal cavities are blow cavity, pluck and reed. The blowing tone is gentle and euphemistic, the pluck is high and exciting, and the leatherspring is more popular and smooth. The performance art of Hui Opera is rich and colorful, and the skill is exquisite. Literary opera is characterized by singing and dancing, euphemism and delicacy, while martial opera shocked the audience with its ruggedness, fervor, proficiency in Kungfu and good at falling on high platforms. Life drama attracts audiences with its strong local flavor and wit, humor and language. Stage pictures are colorful and have the beauty of sculpture.

On May 20, 2006, Hui Opera was approved by the State Council to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list.

Development history

Emblem formation

The Early Stage of Hui Opera

The prosperity of Chinese drama is often inseparable from the wide spread and development of the homophonic tune. The formation of the voice of Hui Opera is the foundation on which Hui Opera is founded.

At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, Southern Opera and Northern Opera were divided. Yiyang Opera spread to Anhui Province and evolved into Huizhou Opera and Qingyang Opera. As the main body, it formed Huichi Elegant Tune, the predecessor of Huizhou Opera. In succession, Huizhou, Qingyang, Taiping and Siping tunes have been produced. Huizhou Opera came into being in the period of Jiajing in Ming Dynasty and prevailed in Wanli. At that time, there were two tendencies in Chinese theatre, one was the opera represented by Yiyang and Huizhou tunes, which was suitable for the taste of ordinary people, and the other was the drama represented by Kun tune which was suitable for the taste of literati.

Huizhou Opera Vocal Tune Represented by Yiyang Tune

During the Jiajing period of Ming Dynasty, when Huizhou Opera came into being, the four most influential tunes of Yuyao, Haiyan, Yiyang and Kunshan came into Huizhou one after another. In order to make the singing style of Yiyang tune more suitable for the taste of Huizhou villagers and townspeople, Huizhou artists often miscellaneous local people, and add a lot of explanatory words and phrases to the script. They sing along and say that it is easy to understand and expand and enhance the ability of the original work to express life. This kind of new opera tone created by retaining the tone of Huizhou voice, absorbing the characteristics of Yiyang tune, adding "Tao Bai" or "Rong", sometimes called "Huizhou tune" or "Huizhou tune", has become one of the characteristics of Huizhou opera.

Hui Opera Vocal Tune Represented by Kun Opera

During Jiajing period of Ming Dynasty, Kunqu Opera also spread around Huizhou. Kun Opera is a profound, gentle and elegant play, accompanied by silk, bamboo and other musical instruments, melodious and pleasant, which is quite appreciated by scholars. When Huizhou accent was popular in Huizhou, some Huizhou merchants who lived outside preferred to be subordinate and elegant. They listened to Kun accent as a fashion, and even specialized in raising family members to sing Kun tune. These Huizhou merchant classes, which sing Kun Opera, brought Kun Opera to Huizhou as their masters returned to perform in Huizhou. The exchanges between Huizhou and Kun tunes have made Huizhou tunes a new creation, which has changed into four-level tunes. Siping Diao, also known as Erhuang Flat, was also the main singing tune sung by the four Hui Banks when they came to Beijing.

The Maturity Period of Hui Opera

During the reign of Kangxi and Qianlong in Qing Dynasty, Huizhou accent entered a period of full prosperity with the promotion and advocacy of Huizhou merchants. There were Duyin and Chuntai classes in Jiangchun, Xu Shangzhi's old Xuban, Huang De, Wang Qiyuan and Cheng Qiande's family classes in Yangzhou alone. During this period, Huizhou Opera absorbed the advantages of Qin Opera, Blowing Opera, Gao Bazi Opera, Bangzi Opera and Luoluo Opera, and formed Huizhou Opera, which was composed of Huizhou Opera, integrating all the advantages of Huizhou Opera, singing, reading, doing and playing.

Anhui opera development


In the mid-Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, the main voices of Hui Opera had been formed. Not long after Hui Opera entered Beijing, Han Opera also entered Beijing. Hui Opera absorbed Xipi from Han Opera, further enriched and developed its own voice.

In the 27th year of Emperor Qianlong (1762), the names of Hui Band such as Taihe, Baohe, Ruixiang and Yongxing were recorded in the Monument of the Liyuan Guild Hall in Waijiang, Guangzhou.

In Qianlong's forty-five years (1780), another inscription recorded nine Huiban classes, such as Rongsheng, Chuntai, Youfu, Shangming, Cuiqing, Jiqing, Baohe, Wenxiu and Shangsheng.

In the fifty-fifth year of Qianlong reign (1790), Gao Langting, a famous Huiban artist, led the Sanqing Class to perform in Beijing and stirred the Beijing Teacher. Later, in the Qianlong and Jiaqing years, there were four Hui classes, five Qing Hui, four happiness classes, Spring Platform classes, Hechun and Sanhe Hui classes. Among them, Sanqing, Sixi, Chuntai and Hechun Classes are the most famous, known as the "Four Hui Classes".

During Jiaqing and Daoguangnian (1796-1850), Huiban became more prosperous in Beijing.

Decline period

Between the eighth and thirteenth years of Qingdaoguang (1828-1832), Han tune artists Wang Honggui and Li Liu joined the Huizhou Class in Beijing, bringing Hui and Han together and transforming "various tunes mixed with Chen" into a new type of opera "mainly with Leather Spring". The Huiban in the South also suffered from the impact of Beijing Opera and other emerging local operas.

Daoguang 20 years (1840) because of the blood relationship between Hui and Han operas, they performed together for a long time and absorbed each other, gradually making the two classes cooperate, and the two tunes of Hui and Han merge together. They also drew nutrition from Kunqu Opera, Yiqiang Opera and Qinqiang Opera, and formed a new kind of opera, Peking Opera.

After Xianfeng and Tongzhi (1851-1874), the Huizhou Opera Club gradually decreased, and the status of the former Huizhou merchants was replaced by the new capitalist industrial and commercial forces in modern times. As a result, Huiban gradually lost the economic support of the former Huizhou merchants, and its active areas gradually narrowed down. It was only popular in parts of Anhui, Jiangxi, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. However, its artistic form has been preserved and divided into two systems with Beijing Opera, called "Hui Opera".

After the ten years of the Republic of China (1921), although Huiban was still active, more and more people changed their tune to Beijing tune. On the eve of the War of Resistance Against Japan, most professional classes were disbanded. Most of the artists changed to Beijing Opera or abandoned their skills to go into agriculture or business. Only a few classes barely maintained their tune.

During the fifteen years of the Republic of China (1926), Hui Opera declined gradually due to the vigorous rise of Beijing Opera and Shanghai Opera, and almost died out on the eve of liberation.

In the census and registration of old artists conducted in 1951, there were only 72 old Hui opera artists at that time. In May of the same year, the first Hui Opera Troupe in Anhui Province, Xiuning Group Music Hui Opera Troupe, was founded.

Salvage period

In 1956, Anhui Hui Opera Troupe was set up in Huizhou. After its establishment, the troupe rescued and excavated nearly 1,000 operas and collected a large number of valuable materials such as voice, music and facial makeup of Huizhou Opera. Two years later, he moved to Hefei. In 1959 and 1961, the delegation went to Beijing and Shanghai for two performances.

In 1961, the Huizhou Opera Troupe was replaced by the Huizhou Regional Huizhou Opera Troupe in Xiuning. In 1978, the Beijing-Huizhou Opera Troupe in Huizhou was re-established.

In 1989, the Chinese Academy of Art sent experts and video teams to Huangshan City to make video recordings of Hui Opera and Mulian Opera. Among them, Hui Opera recorded six programs, namely "Seven Military Forces under Water", "Hundred Flowers Give Swords", "Hunting Back Boots", "Lending Boots", "Tapping Dragon Canopy" and "Wupen Plan", which were included in the long-term preservation of the National Art archives.

At this stage

In 1990, at the grand performance celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of Huiban's entry into Beijing, Huizhou Opera once again stirred the city with its unique artistic style.

From 1991 to 1997, Anhui Hui Opera Troupe was invited to perform in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Japan on many occasions.

In the summer of 1999, he was invited to Spain to perform at the 20th Pilgrimage International Art Festival, the Spanish Bull Running Festival and the Madrid Summer Art Festival.

In 2013, at the invitation of the American Association of Travel Experts, Huangmei Theatre and Anhui Huijing Theatre jointly formed the "Huifeng Anhui Rhyme Americas Tour" troupe to perform in the United States during the 2013 Spring Festival.

Protection status

Inheritance and influence

Traditional opera is generally passed on and developed from generation to generation by the inheritors, which is full of historical and cultural value. With the changes of the times, the impact of new cultural and entertainment methods, people's living environment and consumption patterns have changed. Many folk custom activities are no longer held. With this, Huizhou Opera, which comes from the countryside and is self-compiled and self-performed, has gradually faded out of people's lives. Therefore, the rescue, excavation, protection and inheritance of traditional Hui Opera has become an urgent problem to be solved.

Huizhou Opera is facing various practical difficulties, among which the three most important points affect the inheritance and development of Huizhou Opera.

One is the melting of the artistic characteristics of Hui Opera, which has the potential crisis of "Peking Opera". Anhui Hui Opera Troupe merged from the original Hui Opera Troupe to the Hui Beijing Opera Theatre. The merging of Hui and Beijing led to the gradual melting of the characteristics of Hui Opera, which made the inheritance of Hui Opera shrink and the survival situation worrying.

Huizhou Opera and Peking Opera have the same roots and ancestors, and they have the same origin and succession. There are similar differences between Huizhou Opera and Beijing Opera in terms of repertoire, voice, tune, pronunciation, acting roles and performing procedures. The combination of Huizhou Opera and Beijing Opera will break down the boundaries of opera types and integrate the performance characteristics. In particular, the long-term co-class, co-stage, Co-opera and co-performance between the actors will gradually eliminate the artistic characteristics of Hui Opera and assimilate with Beijing Opera, which will make Hui Opera lose its own artistic characteristics, and also affect the artistic development of Hui Opera and Beijing Opera.

Second, the lack of artistic talents, inheritance of no one, Hui Opera is facing the main dilemma of aging actors, inadequate conduct, serious artistic talent off-file.

Thirdly, Huizhou Opera lacks excellent works and its social influence declines year by year.

As a rare cultural heritage, Huizhou Opera Art is not only a gospel to the audience, but also to the scholars who study Chinese culture. It is also of great significance for the world to understand Chinese history and culture. The playwrights and written materials of the emblem play in the warehouse of the Qing Dynasty's Shengping Department still exist in the Palace Museum, and the disappearance of the emblem play will make these cultural relics "Tianshu" which can not be interpreted. Such a cultural heritage of Chinese drama should be cherished, rescued and protected. It is also the responsibility entrusted to our generation by history.

protective measures

In July 2013, in order to protect and sort out the performance materials of Huiban entering the Palace Museum, the Palace Museum sorted out 11,000 pieces of performance materials of Huiban entering the Palace Museum in the first round, and selected more than 300 pieces of relatively intact materials for photocopying.

In October 2013, Yixian Opera Federation, in accordance with the instructions and requirements of Huangshan Municipal Committee and Municipal Government on inheriting intangible cultural heritage and the specific working arrangements of the Municipal Cultural Committee, organized the old Huizhou Opera actors to help guide and rehearse the Huizhou Opera "Yang Guifei's later inheritance", inherited the Huizhou Opera performing arts with practical actions, rescued the performing arts of Huizhou Opera, and made its own contribution to inheriting the intangible cultural heritage of Huizhou Opera.

In 2016, Huaining County, Anhui Province, will choose Shipai Town, the Town of Traditional Opera, to establish the first Huiban Museum in China, which will collect a large amount of historical materials about Huiban and Huizhou Opera.