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Chienes Opera

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Many of the most famous operas that continue to be performed today are from the Kunqu repertoire, including: “The Peony Pavilion,” “The Peach Blossom Fan,” and adaptations of the older “Romance of the Three Kingdoms,” and “Journey to the West.”Chinese opera makeup is particularly fascinating and rich in meaning. A character with mostly red makeup or a red mask is brave and loyal. Black symbolizes boldness and impartiality. Yellow denotes ambition, while pink stands for sophistication and cool-headedness. Characters with primarily blue faces are fierce and far-seeing, while green faces show wild and impulsive behaviors. Those with white faces are treacherous and cunning – the villains of the show. Finally, an actor with only a small section of makeup in the center of the face, connecting the eyes and nose, is a clown. This is called xiaohualian, or the “little painted face.”

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