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A brief introduction to the Peking Opera

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   Among all traditional Chinese operas, Peking Opera is a relatively newcomer. However, it has become the important and influential opera form for Chinese audiences and is now regarded as a nationally accepted form.

   Like any other traditional opera, Peking Opera tells stories through movement, singing and elaborate dancing. Thus it is a graceful and consummate art which combines the best elements of literature, music and dance. First conceived and developed in Beijing (Peking), Peking Opera has only been performed for 200 years or so. But, by maintaining the heritage of traditional opera and absorbing so much from other local arts, it came to dominate the theaters of the imperial capital and enjoyed rapid growth. As it developed, Peking Opera has experienced periods of full bloom, diminishing popularity and near extinction. But in the end, it has still been passed down from generation to generation and maintained a loyal following because of its immense vitality.

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