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Chinese opera - Artistic characteristics

Stills of Peking Opera Mei Lanfang "Anti-Golden Soldier"



Comprehensiveness, fictitiousness, and formality are the main artistic characteristics of Chinese opera. These characteristics condense the quintessence of Chinese traditional culture’s aesthetic thoughts and constitute a unique view of drama, making Chinese opera shine with its unique artistic brilliance on the stage of world opera culture.


Chinese opera is a highly comprehensive Han folk art [9]. This comprehensiveness is not only manifested in its integration of various art categories (such as dance, acrobatics, etc.) to create new ideas but also in its exquisite performance art. Various artistic factors are closely integrated with performing arts, and all functions of opera are realized through the performance of actors. Among them, the organic composition of singing, thinking, doing, and hitting actors is the most concentrated and prominent manifestation of the comprehensive nature of opera. Singing refers to the technique of singing, and it means “the character is correct and round “; to read, that is, to recite, is a recitation technique, which requires strict requirements. The so-called “thousand cities to speak and sing in two ways”; to do, to do, to be the technique of body and expression; Refers to the martial arts in the performance, which is a combination of dance martial arts skills formed based on traditional Chinese martial arts. These four performance techniques sometimes connect and sometimes cross each other. The composition method depends on the needs of the plot, but they are unified into a comprehensive whole, reflecting the beauty of harmony and full of musical spirit (a sense of rhythm). A Chinese opera is a dramatic form of formal beauty centered on a comprehensive performance of singing, reading, doing, and playing.
Opera performance-1


Stylistics is the manifestations of opera reflecting life. It refers to the standardized, dance-like performance of life movements and their repeated use. The formula comes directly or indirectly from life, but it is formed by refining, generalizing, and beautifying life according to certain norms. It embodies the painstaking efforts of artists throughout the ages, and it has become the starting point for a new generation of actors to re-create the arts, so the opera performing arts can be passed on from generation to generation. There are fixed formats for closing doors, pushing windows, going on horses, boarding boats, going upstairs, etc. in opera performances. In addition to the performance program, Chinese opera has a certain program in terms of script form, role-playing, music singing, makeup, and costume. Excellent artists can break through certain limitations of the program and create their own personalized and standardized art. The program is a model of beauty.
Chinese opera is a dramatic form centered on a comprehensive performance of singing, reading, doing, and playing. It has rich artistic expression methods and its close integration with performing arts makes Chinese opera full of special charm. It melts the beauty of lyrics, music, art, and performance into one, uses rhythm to control a play, achieves a harmonious unity, fully mobilizes the appeal of various artistic methods, and forms a uniquely rhythmic performance in China art.
The most important feature of Chinese opera is virtuality. Stage art does not simply imitate life, but chooses, refines, exaggerates, and beautifies the original form of life, and brings the audience directly into the palace of art.
Another artistic feature of Chinese opera is its stylistic nature, such as closing doors, launching horses, and taking a boat. The formula in Chinese opera is both normative and flexible, so the art of opera is appropriately called free movement with rules.
Opera performance-2


Virtuality is the basic way that opera reflects life. It refers to the performance of actors, using a deformed way to compare the real environment or objects to express life. The virtuality of Chinese opera is first manifested in the flexibility of handling stage time and space. The so-called “three to five walks all over the world, six or seven people and millions of soldiers”, “in an instant, the abbot will land thousands of miles”, “in the blink of an eye” In a few years, every generation will be fragrant.” This breaks through the limitations of the “triune” and “fourth wall” of Western opera. Secondly, in terms of the specific stage atmosphere scheduling and the actors’ simulation of certain life actions, such as wind and rain, boats and horses, threading needles, etc., it is more concentrated and more vivid to reflect the virtual characteristics of opera.
Opera facial makeup is also a virtual way. The virtuality of Chinese opera is not only the result of the limitations of the traditional opera stage and the backward technique of stage art but also the product of the traditional national aesthetics of pursuing the likeness and describing the gods in form. This is a creation of beauty. It has greatly liberated the creativity of writers and stage artists and the artistic imagination of audiences, thereby greatly improving the aesthetic value of opera
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