China is known for Peking Opera but unfortunately the Chinese people do not especially like it and do not support it.   The government supports it with payments to the performers who these days perform in hotels and small theaters or restaurants. If you would like samples of it, the government has performances on t.v. and you can see these in your hotel room when you are there.   The Cultural Revolution more than likely was responsible for this.  Even my Chinese friends did not want to take me to the performances so I usually went by myself.  As a Tour Operator to China for the past 25 years I must see everything myself.  For the tourists on a group tour they take you to a hotel where you see a short performance lasting 45 minutes and just a few actors on stage with no scenery but do have a sign board which gives you the translation of the singing.   I have also attended some of the small theaters one of which is pictured  here.  I love the costumes but the music can be wearing to the ears.  For the best performances of Peking Opera you will see those in a touring company in other parts of the world; but unfortunately not in Beijing.  There is a performance in Chengdu of Sichuan Opera which features the Face Changing which can be interesting but you will hear the same kind of traditional music being sung and played.  There are several other very good shows in China such as the Tang Dynasty show in Xian, a wonderful show in Dunhuang, and my favorite, the Impression Sanjie Liu near Guilin on the Li River at the town of Yangshuo with over 900 local people in it each evening during the tourist season.   For more information on entertainment and shows in China contact us at interlak@eskimo.com
Click on the photo for a full screen view.

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