Ningbo Opera

Home Culture 2019-07-14

Ningbo Opera

Yong Opera, a local traditional drama in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, is one of the national intangible cultural heritage.

Yong Opera is a local opera sung in Ningbo dialect of Zhejiang Province. Its musical tone belongs to Tanhuang. After 1938, this opera genre was officially called "Yongju" or "improved Yongju". Yongju's performance style is exaggerated and humorous, and it is good at expressing real and implicit emotions. Yongju opera has gone through the process of performing Qingsuit opera and suit Qipao opera. It is good at performing modern opera. It draws creative materials directly from social life and focuses on life-oriented performances.

On June 7, 2008, Yongju Opera was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China to be included in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage list, numbered IV-107.

historical origin

Yongju was bred from the field in Ningbo. It was first sung in Ningbo and nearby areas. It was called a string guest during the reign of Qianlong and Jianian in Qing Dynasty. Later, it was also called Ningbo Tanhuang, Siming Wen Opera and improved Yong Opera. Finally, it was named Yong Opera.

Before the founding of New China, Yong Opera was quite active in Shanghai, Ningbo and other places, and many performing groups appeared.

In 1944, the performance venue of Yongju Theatre Troupe was transferred from the imperial palace to Hengya Theatre. For the first time, Siming Opera was publicly called "improved" and a banner "Ala improved" was put on the performance site.

In 1950, Shanghai established the "Yongju Improvement Association" and a 35-member fraternity with Fan Tingfang as its chairman and Huang Zhenshi as its vice-chairman.

In 2011, Ningbo City established Yongju Research and Interpretation Center.

In 2013, Yongju has built a mini-museum, which includes precious historical and cultural materials. Local focus on sorting out "pulling orchids" and other four small plays, and invite the old artists still alive to come out of the mountains, the original flavor of the show on the stage.

Cultural characteristics


During the period of "Siming Wen Opera", Danjiao, the performance of "Ningbo Tanhuang", began to use lead powder to make up the face. Lip makeup is usually carried conveniently with folded carmine plate covered with a gold mark. Those theatres with poor economic conditions put on makeup after soaking their faces with red paper and using ash from the bottom of the pot as coal black. After the 1940s, most cosmetics were made with water powder, while eyebrows were painted with brush and ink. It was not until 1950 that the use of oil paint began.

Historically, there is no Facebook record. Generally, "clown" is a mole or some white powder, some "cap" after the "horn bun". Some old "horns" are mostly painted and licked (such as wrinkles and beards) instead of moustache. Some "male dan" performances in Shanghai teahouses and entertainment venues, in order to make up for the shortcomings in body shape, pay special attention to the artistic effect of makeup and clothing. In the 1920s, some actresses often neglected the importance of stage make-up, because actresses appeared on stage instead of "male dan" and their plays mainly represented urban life.


Early Ningbo "travelers" in some "grass and flower operas" in the general public wear diagonal or paired skirts, under the apron, some wear felt caps, wear cattail straw shoes. In some "Qingke Opera", many literati wear long gowns, red-crowned mound caps and "double beam" shoes.

By the late 1930s, "Danjiao" began to wear cheongsam, and some wore popular fashion to perform on stage. Actors don't pay much attention to the age of their characters in their clothes. It was not until the period of "improvement" that actors really began to pay attention to the stage effect of costumes.

After liberation, people began to attach importance to garment shape and materials. "In the clean-up show, the materials used in the trousers, red caps and underwear (horseshoe sleeves) are gentle, the color is avoided to be too heavy, the width is appropriate and cut according to the body type to reduce the weight and stiffness; while for women's clothing, the materials are mostly made of tattoo, ribbon, satin, yarn and grain, and the cotton dark flowers are often woven and forked high to show the waist of women. Some of them have narrowed the wide edge and matched with a hundred-pin skirt. (Xu Tao's Stage Art)


During the period of "traveling", actors mostly only have props to carry when they perform "couplet play". The stage is at most one desk, two chairs, or one desk and one chair. Most of the "improvements" in the 1940s were fashion dramas. On the stage, objects were used as props. The male actors used folding fans, the female actors took a handkerchief, or some other very simple daily necessities. After liberation, modern drama was mainly performed. Because of the need of the plot, the function of some props has not only played the role of decoration and foil, but also become an indispensable part of the development of dramatic contradictions.


In the stage of "Ningbo Beach Spring", performers usually don't need scenery to perform in teahouses and pubs. In the 1940s and early 1950s, there were scenes of Jigong Living Buddha and Tien Luo Girl, such as "water tank coming out", "shell explosion", "oil frying Jigong", "open cabinet missing" and "flying knife rebounding". At that time, "the most popular folk painter was Wang Yunlin, who painted scenery in pursuit of perspective stereo, especially some utensils and sundries, four meters away, can be almost untrue." (Xu Tao's Stage Art)

The most influential stage art scenery design work after liberation is the modern play "Old Friend" designed by Li Ronggen and Zhou Dongzhao in 1964. After two revisions to the dance design, the play finally uses "small devices" (partial replacement of small scenery), seamless yarn and multi-level color (there was no projection slide at that time) to show the branches, walls and flowers of the sky curtain, near and middle scenes, some of which are tied up with paper, stacked with plastic, and three-ply boards. These arrangements are very realistic with the light.


Yongju opera has rich musical tunes, including "basic tune" and "Siming Nanci", which evolved from rural Tiantou folk songs, folk songs and news singing, and "fast second spring", "slow second spring" tunes and some local minor tunes brought by random play classes. "Basic tone" is mainly used to narrate the plot, "Siming Nanci" is mainly used to express people's feelings, "Erhuang" is mainly used to express high-spirited emotions, while minor is used to express some special emotions.

Representational repertoire

The representative repertoires of Yong Opera include "Half a pair of scissors", "Heaven is going to rain the mother to marry", "Snail Girl", "Pawn Wife" and so on.

Distribution area

The distribution area of Yongju was concentrated in Yinxian and Fenghua in the early stage, and then gradually spread throughout Ningbo and Zhoushan townships.

Inheritance and Protection

Inheritance value

The existence of Yongju makes Ningbo have a drama representing its own unique image, and from this local drama, it reflects the characteristics of Ningbo city and the values of Ningbo people. Its modernity, openness, popularity, folklore, dialectalization, realism, pragmatic attitude, inclusive measurement, good at learning, absorbing, digesting, never self-confident characteristics, suitable for the creation of advanced culture characteristics, it provides a sample for the prosperity of Ningbo literature and art.

Current situation of inheritance

Ningbo Yong Opera Troupe is the only professional performing troupe in Ningbo City, which is in urgent need of protection and support from relevant parties.

Heritage figures

Yang Liuting, male, Han nationality, born in November 1947, is a Ningbo native, a national first-class actor, the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage project successors, declared by Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province.

protective measures

On September 1, 1950, Zhengfeng Research Society was formally established with Fan Xingfan's strong financial support.

Since April 2011, Wangjiang Primary School, in cooperation with the Ningbo League, has carried out the research on the inheritance and development of culture in rural campuses. It has compiled the first textbook for children in Ningbo, Rural Rhyme and Simple Learning of Ningbo Dialect. Professional teachers have also been invited to teach children Ningbo dialect, singing and body form from scratch.

On June 7, 2016, Ningbo Foreign Affairs (Literature and Art) School was going to recruit students from professional classes. Chen Xiangyuan looked envious: "With the growth of age, we may have about 10 years left to choose the bearer of this biography. If only the foreign affairs school could also open Siming Nanci professional classes, in my opinion, this is to train successors. It's the quickest and most efficient way for people.

On June 16, 2008, it was listed in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage list and the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage expansion project list.

social influence

Important performances

In 1950, Zhengfeng Research Society officially performed "Storm and Rain Night".

On October 18, 2018, Ningbo Yong Opera Company Limited performed Thunderstorm at Meilan Theater.

Honorary recognition

In 1989, Chen Shasha, Yu Jie and other performers in Ningbo Television Broadcast "Girl Snail" won the third prize of the 10th National Excellent Teleplay "Flying Sky Award" drama and television drama, and the fourth National Excellent Teleplay "Panzhihua Award" excellent multi-copy second prize.

In 1989, the play "Love Cross" won the first prize of stage in the 4th Zhejiang Drama Festival.

In 1991, the opera "Bright Eye Brother" and "Heaven Wants Rainy Niang Wants to Marry" won the design award of the first stage art exhibition in Zhejiang Province.


Prev:Yongchun Quan

Next:Yongxiu Yaya Opera