I was pleasantly surprised when I heard we were being given the opportunity to go and see a Liuzi opera Jingchan ji on March 11.
Although I had seen brief clips of Chinese opera before, I had never seen a complete Chinese opera performance. This particular opera (as it was a Liuzi opera) was in fact a traditional local opera, which in my eyes made it even more interesting because of its links to the local culture.
After making sure everyone was present, we set off towards the theatre by pre-booked bus. Upon arrival each of us was given a ticket, after which we entered the theatre and took our seats.
Both to the left and to the right of the stage there was an electrical sign which would show the lyrics during the singing parts. I couldn't always follow these, but I tried to read along as best as I could, especially since it was hard to understand the singing parts just by listening to them.
Even though I wasn't always able to follow the performance, it turns out the main plot lines were mostly as I had thought. I won't go into any details of the story here: it's better to simply experience the opera yourself and see how much you can follow. If you feel you missed anything important, you can always look up the story after viewing the performance, or, if you like, you can get an idea of the story before going to see the opera.
The costumes were resplendent; the singing (although not always pleasant to my ears, unaccustomed as they are to Chinese opera) was top-notch; the acrobatics skilled; the acting expressive: in other words, it was an impressive performance.
If you haven't seen a Chinese opera yet, I certainly recommend going to see one!
Written by: Mara Cameron (卡睦蓉), a student from Leiden University and now studying in College of International Education, SDU
Edited by: Xie Tingting