Cantonese Opera is one of the famous opera in China. Like Beijing opera based on Beijing, Cantonese Opera is based on Guangdong province. It is a kind of traditional Chinese art involving with singing, dancing, martial arts, acrobatics, and acting.
The history of Cantonese Opera originated in Foshan in Ming Dynasty. After many years’ development and innovation, Cantonese use a lot of folk melodies, popular songs, modern instruments or even Western tunes to establish the type of the opera.
Like Beijing Opera, Cantonese opera also has its specific acting roles which are easier understand by people. There are four types of roles: Sang, Daan, Zing, Cau. Sang is a male role of the opera, dann is a female role. Zing is known for painted-faces. It is often male character such as hero, general, villain, god, or demon. Cau is a kind of Character who plays for clown figures. The costume of Cantonese Opera has its own rule, which different roles should wear the proper clothes so that it can satisfy the need of the roles.
Cantonese Opera is just an elegant acting art not only for the clothes chosen to wear but also for the form played by the actors. By acting with a kind of special ways, lots of good operas can be showed in the platform for the audiences.
Various stories are showed by Cantonese Opera. Most of them are very well-known by Cantonese. These subjects are rearranged into opera are very wide, such as myth, legend, love story, war and so on.
A very famous performance of Cantonese opera called “Di Nu Hua” tells a painful and beautiful love story of ancient China in Ming period. Tong Dik Sang, a famous Hong Kong Cantonese opera playwright, wrote this classic opera in 1957. He was very well-known and talented, having written numerous highly acclaimed operas. A beautiful princess of China in Ming Dynasty married to an outstanding noble man. They loved each other very much. When the disaster happened, their country was invaded and broken by the enemies. They both have suicide together to make their promise for their love and the motherland. The opera is played by two very famous actor and actress called Ren Jianhui and Bai Xuexian. The play used plenty of beautiful classical poem and music. It is very welcomed by people which also make great influence to the Cantonese Opera.
Today, in many eyes of old people of Guangdong, Cantonese opera is like a pearl for them. They enjoy the Cantonese Opera as a favorite thing to appreciate. But the opera is not so popular to the young man in Guangdong nowadays. Many young people can’t accept this form of traditional art. They rarely listen to the opera instead of listening pop music or watching movie. Not only for Cantonese Opera, but also for other traditional arts are not very concerned by the young people. So it is need to more cherish for Cantonese opera.
When you have chance to appreciate a Cantonese opera, you will find the line, the music, the acting, the make-up are all very amazing with a great effort by Cantonese. Cantonese opera is just a treasure of China’s culture.