Chinese opera is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, going back as far as the Song Dynasty in 960. This traditional art form was brought to Singapore by the massive waves of Chinese immigrants who came here over the past 150 years.
Chinese opera is an extravagant display of song and dance, utilising vibrant costumes, showy make-up, beguiling poetry and martial arts to produce a riveting performance.
Different forms of Chinese opera exist. Peking opera is popular among the older generation of Chinese. Sung in the Mandarin dialect, Peking opera can be classified into the civil or martial-arts performances, or sometimes a combination of both.
The painted faces are perhaps one of the more fascinating aspects of Chinese opera. Each colour typically has a specific meaning, with the colour red symbolising courage and loyalty, black representing boldness and impartiality, blue standing for cruelty, while white usually connotes wickedness.
For a glimpse of a live Chinese opera performances, contact the Chinese Theatre Circle, or visit their website here.