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10 Masterpieces in Traditional Peking Opera


Peking Opera, with a history of more than 200 years, is one of China's major traditional art forms. Combining instrumental music, vocal performances, mime, dance and acrobatics, it has been inscribed into the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage list since 2010.

It features four main types of performers, called sheng (male role), dan (female role), jing (painted-face male role) and chou (clown).

Peking Opera uses simple stage settings and props, which usually are just a couple of chairs and tables. To represent big items, such as boats or mountains, it relies on stage performances instead of actual installations.

For costumes and headdresses, Peking Opera performers use bright and contrasting colors, which are strictly based on the rank, occupation and lifestyle of different characters. Their faces are painted with elaborate make-up, also indicating a character's social status and personality.

1. The Drunken Concubine

2. Monkey King

3. Farewell My Concubine

4. A River All Red

5. Unicorn Trapping Purse

6. White Snake Legend

7. The Ruse of the Empty City

8. Female Generals of the Yang Family

9. Wild Boar Forest

10. The Phoenix Returns Home

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