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The Art of Yu Opera

Music Character of Yu Opera

Yu Opera may be a kind of folk music, but it differs from other kinds of music in how it's created. Instead of being created by one composer, it is created by many including an artist or writer. Handed down from generation to generation, time has influenced the style of the opera as well. 


Yu Opera is often described as bold and impassioned yet with the emergence of more and more actresses after the Revolution of 1911, its artistic characteristics come in the form of gentility and gracefulness.  


Yu Opera can be very receptive at times. There are many things in a performance that are a result of blending; sometimes a rhythm or a kind of performance practice, sometimes a combination of a melody from another genre of drama.


The art of singing in Yu Opera

The main focus of Yu Opera is singing. An appropriate Chinese proverb says "one would rather sing ten plays than speak one". The performance of Yu Opera is mainly in the form of falsetto or the true voice of the performer. Also, there are even performances that include "true voice" singing and falsetto at the same time. This involves "true voice" singing performed alto and falsetto in the treble. Another kind of acting is singing words with one's true voice and humming with falsetto.


Musical Instruments of Yu Opera

The musical instruments of the accompanying band fall into two categories: "Wu Chang" and "Wen Chang". The pan-ku, Tupan, big gong, hand cymbals, small gong and pang-tzu are the most commonly used instruments in the "Wu Chang" category. The lute, sheng, violoncello, bamboo flute are classified as "Wen Chang".


Dramatists and Plays of Yu Opera

The most famous actors and actresses of Yu opera are Chen Suzhen, Chang Xiangyu, Cui Lantian, Ma Jinfeng, Yan Lipin and Sang Zhenjun. To understand further the art and meaning of Yu Opera, tracks like Hua Mulan, Peach Blossom Hut, Lady General Mu Takes Command and Traveler's Song offer a true representative of what Yu Opera is.