Yiwu opera

A Brief Introduction of Wu opera


Originated in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, some 400 years ago, Wu opera is a popular traditional Chinese art form in Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces. Its name came after Wuzhou, which was the former name of Jinhua.

Wu opera inherited many musical elements from Kunqu opera, which is widely regarded as the ancestor of Beijing opera, Anhui opera, and many local operas in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.

Mostly staged in the open air in rural areas, Wu opera features straightforward yet exaggerated performances. As long sleeves were at first not adopted for costumes, performers always made a lot of movements using their wrists and fingers. A highlight of Wu opera is the many stunts in each performance, for example face-changing with greasepaints rather than masks.

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