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Chinese Opera

Last updated by peggie at 2015/4/20

The Chinese word for opera is xiqu, which is roughly translated as "theatre of song", or possibly even "a musical", yet neither of these terms accurately captures the essence of Chinese opera, while they may even create associations that are in contradiction to the essence of Chinese opera. What constitutes the essence of Chinese opera is a matter for scholars to debate, and of course one must recognize that since 'there is nothing new under the sun', xiqu did not suddenly emerge 'out of the blue' as a full-blown opera form - it gradually took shape through the absorption of a variety of theatrical currents and practices that had preceeded it. But at some point in this evolution one can rightly speak of a dramatic form that is sufficiently developed to set it apart as a discipline in its own right.

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