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    Zhejiang Province is known as the "cradle of Chinese operas". The epochal dawn of the Chinese opera began in the seaside city Wenzhou southeast of Zhejiang Province. The fertile land there gave birth to the earliest mature form of Chinese opera - the Southern Opera. In the long history of drama development, Zhejiang Province contributed resplendent chapters. Geniuses and masterpieces came forth in great numbers and great playwrights like Gao Zecheng, Xu Wei, Wang Jide, Li Yu, Wang Guowei all engraved their names into the history. The four monumental plays of Southern Opera - "Jing Liu Bai Sha", The tale of Pi-pa, The Palace of Eternal Life - are still on stage today. Zhejiang has a rich variety of operas. The Province claims two among the four legendary tunes of the Ming Dynasty, namely the Haiyan Tune and the Yuyao Tune. Local operas thrive vigorously, the representatives being the Yue Opera, Beijing Opera, Hun Opera, Shao Opera, Wu Opera, Yao Opera, Ou Opera, Hu Opera and the puppet show. With its chaste and polished artistic style, the Yue Opera has ascended to a distinct position and become one of the major forms of Chinese opera. In the new era, the establishment of the Yue Opera Troupe One-hundred Flowers (Xiao Baihua) and the emergence of such masterpieces as The West Chamber Tales and Five Daughters Offering Birthday Felicitations bring even more vigor to the stage of Zhejiang Province.
    Zhejiang Province is well-known for its well-developed civilization, its ample cultural relics and its prosperous musical resources. The "beginning of the South Music" - the tune "Hou Ren Yi" performed by some woman in Mt. Tu - can date back to as early as the recordings in Xia Dynasty. "The Song of Yue People", which was still popular in Zhou Dynasty in Zhejiang Province, was one of them. The Han and Tang Dynasty witnessed an unprecedented booming in music and drama in Zhejiang province borne in the form of celebrations and sacred activities. Especially, the plays about joining the armies gained their popularity in the east. With all these nourishments, Zhejiang drama finally grows into a kind of comprehensive art comprised of various stuffs such as literature, music, dancing, fine arts, martial arts and acrobatics.
Kun Opera The West Garden Tale
 
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