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Paperback: 150 pages
Publisher: Foreign Languages Press (2004)
Contents: Peking opera is regarded as China's national opera and is the most popular and widespread opera in the country. It is generally believed that Peking opera developed from several ancient local operas during the mid and late 19th century.
Peking opera is a comprehensive art that has singing, recitation, acting and acrobatics (dancing) at its core. Feelings and ideas are often expressed through symbolic motions, and the unique format has developed over long years of performance. Using its standardized yet flexible format, many Peking opera artists have created a lot of vivid, touching characters with distinct personalities, thus helping Peking opera develop and prosper.
Peking opera takes its name from the city of Beijing, where it developed. It was formerly called pihuang (after xipi and erhuang, the two main types of melody in Peking opera), Beiping opera (after an old name of Beijing) and National opera, among other names.
(China.org.cn October 24, 2006)