Traditional Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theater in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It incorporates various art forms, such as music, song and dance, martial arts, acrobatics, as well as literary art forms. In Beijing, you can enjoy the great opera at Mei Lanfang Grand Theater, Chang’an Grand Theater, LiyuangTheater, etc.
Mei Lanfang Grand Theater
As its name suggests, Mei Lanfang Grand Theater was named after Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), a master of Peking opera. It is situated at the intersection of the bustling Financial Street and antique Ping'an Street in Xicheng District, Beijing.
The theater contains 7 floors with a capacity is 980 spectators. It is a fan-shaped building with a stylish steel and glass structure. In the evening, it resembles a shining red crystal. The interior features some key ingredients in traditional Chinese architecture such as the magnificent bright red columns and walls, which are often seen in royal palaces. A bronze seated statue of Mei is placed at the center of the lobby, which stands 1.5 meters tall and 2.5 meters wide. Red walls of interior part are decorated with dozens of wooden circular embossment portraying the history of Peking Opera.
Although designed for Peking operas, the theater will also stage other types of performance, such as dramas and concerts. It also hosts conventions, exhibitions and other events.
Address: No. 32 Ping'anli West Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Transportation: Subway Line 2 or Line 6 to Chegongzhuang station
Chang’an Grand Theater
Beijing Chang’an Grand Theater, a well-known theater in China, was built in Beijing’s shopping area Xidan in 1937, and was moved to East Chang’an Avenue in 1996.
The theater is a perfect combination of ancient Chinese architecture and modern technology, with decoration deeply influenced by the Ming and Qing dynasties. The performance hall has 800 seats with elegant mahogany table, luxurious VIP seats and comfortable soft chairs. Teapots, dinnerware with hand-painted images and royal-court-style snack food are offered, reproducing the theater hundreds of years ago.
Classical repertoire is the top priority of the Chang’an Grand Theater. Its multi-functional stage and advanced sound and lighting facilities, which are competent to stage various artistic performances.
Classic Play - The Orphan of Zhao (赵氏孤儿)
The Orphan of Zhao is a Chinese play from the Yuan era by the 13th-century dramatist Ji Junxiang. It is classified in the zaju genre of dramas depicting the theme of familial revenge. The Orphan of Zhao was the earliest Chinese play to be known in Europe.
Add: No. 7 Jianguomen Inner Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing
Transportation: Subway Line 1 or Line 2 to Jianguomen station
Liyuan Theater is the first Peking Opera theater with the form of teahouse. The theater comprises a performance hall, an exhibition hall and a souvenir shop, all are worth a visit. Each year many visitors will come here to enjoy the brilliant Beijing opera. Among those foreign leaders and officials who visited Beijing, many have left their footprints in this theater.
From the traditional performance stage, the Baxianzhuo (old fashioned square table for seat eight people) to the unique facial make-up, everything in the theater reflects the special feature of old Beijing. The theater has 800 seats and is equipped with simultaneous translation equipment for English and Japanese.
Add: Qianmen Jianguo Hotel, No. 175 Yongan Road, Xicheng District, Beijing
Tel: (8610) 4000301651
Transportation: Subway Line 7 to Hufangqiao station
Zhengyici Peking Opera Theater
For every foreigner in Beijing, enjoying the Peking Opera performance is a must-try. As one of the oldest wooden theaters in China, Zhengyici Peking Opera Theater is an ideal place to enjoy the performance.
Built on the ruin site of a Buddhist temple in 1688 during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor in the Qing Daynasty, the Zhengyici Peking Opera Theater is one of the "four great opera theaters" in Beijing.
The theater is located at a hutong in Dongcheng District. Zhengyici means a temple for Zhengyi Xuantan Laozu. It has a rich history that includes performances by the grandmaster of Peking Opera, Mei Lanfang and other well-respected Peking Opera masters, such as Tan Xinpei and Wang Yaoqing. They witnessed the most glorious times of the theater.
Address: Room 412, Unit 3, No. 12, Xinzhong Street B, Dongcheng District
Tel: (86) 83151650
Transportation: Subway Line 2 to Hepingmen station
Huguang Guild Hall
Founded in 1807, Huguang Guild Hall is renowned for one of the "Four Great Opera Theaters" in Beijing. It is located inside a beautiful old theater building, adjacent to an old hutong and quarters filled with old Beijing culture.
The theater is renowned for its magnificent interiors, which is colored in red, green and gold, and decked out with tables and a stone floor. The splendid opera house offers a chance for domestic and overseas tourists to enjoy an oriental classic theater of original taste. Here you can experience the authentic Peking Opera, performed by some of the most skillful performers. With a lifetime of training, these renowned for actors time and time again amaze audiences with their unbelievable skills. Inside, you will find a museum which is dedicated to the history of the Chinese performing art.
Address: No. 3, Hufang Road, Xicheng District, Beijing
Tel: (86)010- 83551680
Transportation: Subway Line 7 to Hufangqiao station
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