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Opera of the Yuan Dynasty

The Yuan Opera, also known as the Northern Dynasty Opera, it is a Han opera form sung in Yuan Dyansty. Formed in the late Song Dynasty, it flourished in Dade years in Yuan Dynasty(after the second half of the 13th century -14 century). The main representative writers are Guan Hanqing, Zheng Guangzu, Ma Zhiyuan, Bai Pu and so on. The main representative works are "Snow in Midsummer", "Autumn in the Han Palace", "A fair girl's soul departed -- a young girl died of love ", "Indus Rain" and so on. The main contents intended to expose society's dark, mainly reflected the people's sufferings. The Yuan Opera is the combination of realism and romanticism and it has clear main lines and distinctive characters.

The opera roles are divided into Dan, Mo, Jing and Za. Dan includes the main Dan, the outside Dan, the big Dan, the small Dan and the painted Dan. The main Dan is the main singing woman in an opera while other type of Dan are secondary actresses. Mo includes the main Mo, the small Mo and the old Mo. The main Mo is the main singing man in an opera while other type of Mo are secondary actors. Jing is the comedy actors in inferior position in an opera. Za includes other actors except for the above three types in an opera.


















The Development of Yuan Opera
The process of Jin Dynasty conquered Northern Song Dynasty and Yuan Dynasty conquered Jin Dynasty is also the process of the Han people revolt against Nüzhen nobles and Mogolian nobles. Arduous struggle of the people against national oppression and class oppression, requires fighting and mass art forms to be in strong performance; and a variety of factors that constitute the art of drama to this point which had been a long gestation and integration. Thus, the Yuan Opera on the basis of the Jin dramas and Zhu Gong Diao, due to the demands of reality and people-loving, greatly expanded the subject matter and content, launched a Chinese opera brilliant page in history.

In the case of major changes in the Yuan society, literati differentiation also occurred. Especially in the early Yuan Dynasty, ethnic and class contradictions are very sharp, and did not resume the imperial examination system. The lower the literati officialdom greatly narrowed the road, followed the decline of life. Apart from a few bureaucrats attached outside the rulers, scholars and the vast majority of the people suffer the same cruel persecution. Therefore, the relationship between them and the people was more closely.

Part literati and Han folk artists got together and made up the book clubs. While they learn achievement from Han folk art, but again contribute their ability to the drama of creation. Organization of the book clubs and the cooperation of Han folk artists and writers played a role in promoting to the rise of the Yuan Dynasty. Song, Jin and Yuan urban economic development prepared ample material conditions for the prosperity of drama. The Yuan Opera had adapted to the requirements of the ruling class cultural pleasures and the general public. Meanwhile, in rural areas are often carried out drama activities.

In addition, as the Yuan Dynasty had a vast territory and traffic developed, closer international and domestic relations between different ethnic groups. Cultural exchange between different ethnic groups, especially in the north. The spread of various ethnic music played a certain role for drama flourish.


















Contents of Yuan Opera
First, exposing society's dark, reflecting the people's sufferings.
Second, show heroism, praise resistance struggle of the people.
Third, description of love and marriage, reflect the tragic fate of women and show women's desire and pursuit.
Fourth, praise good people, lash crafty and fawning.
Fifth, reflect the social and moral status of family ethics.

Art Features of Yuan Opera
First, the combination of realism and romanticism.
Second, Contradictions concentrated, compact plot, the main line outstanding.
Third, distinctive character portrayed.
Fourth, colorful language, with strong expressive force.

Four Famous Figures of Yuan Opera
Guan Hanqing
In the early period of Yuan Opera, he was the leading person. He used the art form of Yuan Opera skillfully. In dealing with shaping characters, handling dramatic conflict and using dramatic language, he had earned great achievements. His representative works are: Snow in Midsummer, Obeisance Moon Cabin and West Sichuan Dream.

Ma Zhiyuan
Artistic Verse of Ma Zhiyuan can be divided into four categories: scenery, sigh world, lyrics of love and the world, using a variety of good rhetoric and distinctive characters and other art features. His representative work is: Tune: Sunny Sand Autumn Thoughts.

Bai Pu
Bai Pu was born in the family which had a strong literary atmosphere, with the famous poet Shi wen teenagers learn classical poetry. He had a very good accomplishment in the traditional literati literature. In the Yuan Dynasty, he was among the first celebrities to participate in the identity of the literary family to engage in drama creation. His representative work is: Pei Shaojun And Li Qianjun.

Zheng Guangzu
Zheng Guangzu is the most distinguished writer in the second period in the Opera of Yuan Dynasty. A fair girl's soul departed -- a young girl died of love is his representative work.



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