Mulian Opera, Wuhu
Mulian Opera originates in the Mulian Bianwen (a form of narrative literature) in the Tang Dynasty. It is a religious opera integrating Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism which takes the story of “Mulian Saved Mother” as the main plot. The opera had been very popular in Nanling County since the Ming Dynasty. The tune of Mulian Opera is called “Yang Tune”, which preserved the style of Yiyang Opera in the Tang Dynasty. The accompaniments of the opera are big gong, big cymbal and Tang Drum, without orchestral instruments. The ways of singing are characterized as “Rhythm depending on the drum”, “One sings and masses join”, and “Jia Gun” (The improvisation in the local theatrical music of Southern Auhui Province). Dialogs and singings are all in dialects near Huangmu District. The only libretto of the play is “Mulian Saved Mother”.