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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Karenkatz,
Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Shanghai Culture  »  Shanghai Traditional Drama  »  Songhu Opera
Songhu Opera

China attaches great importance to the protection of intangible cultural heritage. On May 20, 2006, the State Council approved Songhu opera(沪剧) included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage. It is an important part of Shanghai culture.


Songhu opera was first named flower drum opera, and it is a kind of folk songs in Shanghai and Jiangsu, Zhejiang rural area. As early as Qing period (1736-1795) flower drum opera has been popular. In Daoguang Period of Qing Dynasty (1821-1850), there formed the Shanghai Beach Opera (locally called "The Beach Opera"). The form of beach Opera is two men play in one dram which is called the sub-drama. The whole theatrical troupe has only four or five people, only a few musical accompaniment including erhu, a tympanic plate, a small gong and the troupe can sing anywhere. Later, they developed into the same scene which usually have three or more characters, a dedicated staff accompaniment. The entire social troupe have eight or nine people, so they can perform more complex plot repertoire, and there has been the actress as well. The plays mostly reflect the rural life as a theme, the actors are dressed in Qing Dynasty countryside costumes.


















Before and after the Revolution of 1911, this beach opera entered the Shanghai entertainment performances. In early days, the actors still sit there and sing without make-up. With the increase of social tropes, the scale has expanded to ten people. In 1920s, this beach opera is affected by civilized drama, using a screen table system, and then develop into a small-scale drama "Shen Play." In the early 1930s, there has been a lot of news and movie based on the story, the performance reflect repertoire of urban life. Because the characters in suits and dress debut, it is called "dress suit play." Such drama staged, so Shen Play gradually approaches civilization and uses drama and drama performances, such as the adoption of new scenery to enhance lighting, effects, music, etc. It also absorbs some workers as a theater director civilization. In the early 1930s, Shen Play Opera Association was established and in 1934, it reorganized as Shen Music Opera Research. In 1938, Shen music groups soared to thirty or so.

In 1941, the establishment of the Shanghai opera community and people began to call Shen Music as Songhu opera. Shen Music in this period greatly affected by the drama and movies and the first play staged in Shanghai by Shanghai opera community is adapted from the Hollywood movie "Waterloo Bridge." Since then, according to Shanghai opera staged many classics, drama or movie adapted from the plays, novels such as "Begonia", "Camel", "home" and other drama such as "Shanghai Roof", "Thunderstorm" and other films such as "Gone with the Wind, "" Hood’s Angels "(" Romeo and Juliet ") and so on.


















After the 1940s, under the influence of Shanghai opera drama and film, the director has established system and pays attention to character portrayed on the show, explore singing, acting, and white combination. In terms of arts performance, characteristics of long cavity length is the main board, and then emerged various genres.

After the founding of People's Republic of China, Shanghai opera went into a new period of reform and development. In 1953, the first national Shanghai opera troupes - Shanghai People Shanghai troupe (Shanghai and Shanghai Theatre predecessor) was established. The majority of Shanghai opera actor, director, musician, stage personnel began to actively play modern drama series. There have been a large number of revolutionary history and reflect real-life drama, such as the "Arhat Coin", " White Haired Girl ", "Spark of Fire", "Feather Fly Overhead" "Huangpu Bore Tidewater", "Ludang kindling", "the Red Lantern” and so on, which improve the Shanghai opera singing music, choreography by director level and innovation of playing an important role.

After the Cultural Revolution, Songhu opera gradually recovering. The famous Shanghai opera artists return to the stage who are full of artistic youth.

In 1982, the Shanghai Theatre Shanghai troupe was established and the first dean of is Ding Shi’e, the incumbent president is Mao Shanyu. Songhu opera is a typical representative of the regional culture, which reflects the outlook of different aspects of modern Chinese metropolis. In the growth process, Songhu Opera shows strong vitality and vigor. With the acceleration of the process of modernization, Shanghai opera art of facing an increasingly serious crisis. The performance market shrinking, thus reducing the audience. Songhu opera has low income workers, emerges the phenomenon of brain drain and faults and the southern region of the original dozens of Shanghai opera today only remains three performance groups. It’s time to take effective measures to rescue and protect the Shanghai opera art.





Trista




 

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