As one of the popular Chengdu tour attractions, Sichuan opera performances are always full of wit, humor, lively dialog and full of local flavors. If you plan to travel to Chengdu or to any other place in Sichuan, you should definitely put it in your diary and make it a point to see the excellent Sichuan Opera without missing any absorbing performances.
Sichuan opera is known for five unique stunts: changing faces, spitting fires, rolling lights, hiding sword and stick-puppet drama. Changing faces is the highlight of Sichuan opera, which is achieved by quickly tearing off, rubbing or blowing away a mask to reveal another. There are three types of face-changing: In the Wiping Mask routine the actor applies cosmetic paint in a certain position on his face; the Blowing Mask routine works with powder cosmetics, such as gold, silver and ink powders; the Pulling Mask routine is the most complicated. Masks are painted on pieces of damask, well cut, hung with a silk thread and the lightly pasted to the face one by one.
Spitting fires, also called fire breathing, it is the act of creating a fireball by breathing a fine mist of fuel over an open flame. Rolling lights is a classic clown play. The performers do complex physical comedy while successfully balancing a flaming bowl on their head. Hiding sword is a common trope in Sichuan Opera, to reveal the malice and evil character. Stick-puppet drama is a kind of stick-supported puppet controlled by strings, which often shows at the beginning of the Sichuan Opera.
“The legend of the White Snake” is one of the famous plays in Sichuan opera. It is a romantic story which tells of a young scholar who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is a thousand year old white snake that has taken on a human form. A monk intervenes in order to maintain a law that forbids humans and spirits from falling in love with each other, and casts the white snake into a deep well at Leifeng Pagoda.
“Executed Masu in tears” excerpts from the “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, tells the story of Zhuge Liang, the Prime Minister of Su Han, executed his general, Masu, for the loss of a battle due to his personal fault. Another top play is “Butterfly Lovers”, a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, which always regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. Of course, more plays are interesting and artistic. Only by watching a real Sichuan Opera, you can feel the beauty of this art.
Sichuan opera can be seen in a lot of places, such as Sichuan Opera Theater, Shunxing Old Tea House. Among them, Shufeng Yayun Garden is popular. Located in Chengdu Culture Park on Qintai Road, it has a proper style of Old West Shu Country (the old name of Sichuan Province). Despite performances like face changing, you can also appreciate Hand Shadow Show, Facial Make-up at there. You can enjoy the traditional Sichuan opera while drinking Sichuan tea, you can have a ideal tour with these Chengdu tourist attractions.