Gaojia Opera, a traditional folk art
xiamen.chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 5, 2019
Gaojia Opera (or Gejia Opera, Daban) is a traditional folk art in Minnan in southern Fujian province. It is also popular in Taiwan and the Chinese expatriate communities living in Southeast Asia.
It grew out of Songjiang zhen, a folk performance that emerged in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), developed into Hexing drama, an art form that combined literature and martial arts in the middle Qing Dynasty, then absorbed the elements of various opera styles and turned in to Gaojia Opera in late Qing Dynasty.
It can be classified into three categories: court drama (daqi drama), shengdan opera (also xiufang opera) and choudan (comic role) opera, according to the repertoire.
Its qupai (the names of the tunes) belongs to nanyin, an ancient music style from East China's Fujian province. Performers sing in their native voice with a strong and high vocal tone. The role of the puppet clown, which is rare in other operas, requires good dancing skills and is very funny and interesting.