Beijing Opera is a comprehensive performing art. It is amazing in that it combines so many forms. It is a grand opera, ballet, an acrobatic show, and a historical play. It is actually not an opera like that in the west, where arias are the main and perhaps the only feature. The word "opera" is the most likely in English languge but not best suited for this kind of art. A similar situation can be found in translating Chinese Long into "dragon", for Long in Chinese civilization is not a comparable with the "dragon" as described in the Holy Bible. We Chinese claim proudly that we are the descendants of Long.
Scholars have suggested using the Chinese pronouciation spelling "Jingjü" for its name in English. In Beijing, there are two Beijing Opera Troupe Groups. One is Beijing's Beijing Opera Yuan, and the other is China's Beijing Opera Yuan. It will be a confussing to name a troupe in English, such as The Fourth Beijing Beijing Opera Troupe.
Beijing Ballad Opera is Beijing's only local opera, which was first formed in the 1950s. It was derived from the ballad singings in an attempt to have the first local opera in Beijing. The key founder is the famous ballad singer WEI Xi-Kui.
First Edition: May 1, 1995
Last Revision: March 20, 1997
Copyright 1995-1997 Xu-Ming Wang