Ancient Peking Opera at Huguang Guild Hall

Huguang Guild Hall

We are often asked, if you go to Beijing, which Peking Opera venue should you choose. I have to say, that it is a very difficult question as there are so many well respected theatres out there. All of them are very old, because a new theatre would never survive in such a competitive performing art industry. Therefore you can expect each and every one of them to have a close connection with tradition and often with tradition comes skill.

But it’s good to know that there are many different styles of opera as well as different school of thought. Meaning that each theatre will have it’s unique style of what version or aspect of opera do they want to bring their visitors. So it really comes down to the question, what kind of Opera do you like?

But for those who like to see a truly ancient and famous theatre, that is most popular with Chinese  opera fans we recommend The Huguang Guild Hall opera theatre. It is known as the most renowned Peking Opera theatre in Beijing. It was founded in 1807, also making it one of the oldest that are still standing in the city. While the performances are not the most humorous or light hearted. Expect a lot of singing and dancing.. but that being said, these performances are some of the most beautiful and elegant. So if you like western opera, you will most likely love it’s Peking equivalent.

Head on to Xuanwu District in Beijing for your culture dose. See you at the Huguang Guild Hall!

A trip to Beijing Opera and one of it’s homes the Liyuan Theatre

The Opera Beijing or traditionally known as Peking Opera (in Chinese: 京剧) is far from the western traditional sense of the word, in fact it is sometimes refered as “oriental opera”. It is a deeply cultural Chinese artform of which name originates from where it has been formed. Therefore it is is a mix of old Chinese opera forms that came together in the melting pot of the capital city. One of the most long standing Peking Opera theaters in Beijing is the Liyuan Theatre venue in the Xicheng District of Beijing. Previously known as the Xuanwu District, it is said to be the birthplace of Peking Opera.

The history of Opera in Beijing is more than 200 years old. The longest treasable roots are of the Hui Opera, which first came to Beijing in 1790. It was performed to entertain the emperor and other high officials, soon it became implemented in local culture and also ordinary people could watch the show which evolved to what is still up to this day.

It’s influence has even been significant later in other Opera forms around China. Therefore it is undoubetly one of the most famous performing art forms in the whole of the republic.

Beijing Opera is a comprehensive spectacle that combines many different art forms into one. For example, reading, singing, performing, martial arts, dancing are all parts of the act. The performance is a well intricate balance of the feminen and the masculine, also known as Jing & Yang.

To catch one of these incredible shows, head on to 175 Yongan Road (address In Chinese: 北京市西城区永安路175号). You may also spend the night at the luxirous and classic Qianmen Jianguo Hotel (chinese name: 前门建国饭店) which hosts the Liyuan Theatre venue.

If you are not yet convinced, have a look at some of these amazing shots from the act!

Liyuan Theatre Act

Liyuan Theatre Beijing Opera

Liyuan Theatre Peking Opera

Liyuan Theatre Performance

Liyuan Theatre hosts daily shows at 7:30PM the famous Peking Opera venue. See the official website where you can reserve your seats before the show. Tickets are also available at the hotel before the show, yet there is no guarantee that any tickets are left during the high season. See more information at http://www.liyuantheatreopera.com Thank you!

Shows in Beijing: Chaoyang Theatre

A small girl already as good as any highly trained professional.

The acrobatic show in Beijing is not for those who are firm believers in the laws of physics. Swaying from chair to chair by piling them on top of each other only using the corner of the foot of the chair while hula hoops whirl in the feet is the kind of daring action one might except at the show. I will introduce to you one of the best shows that Beijing has to offer.

The theatre is HUGE and that jump is HUGE.

The style of Chinese acrobatics differ from the west in that it is very traditional and based on the honor of your own body. To this day it continues to respect the few thousand year old history of Chinese acrobatics. It all began from the times of the tang-dynasty, when performances were played out on the streets. This is why a lot of common day objects are used even up to this day. The difference from todays Acrobatics is that the stunts are trained to the ultimatum (yes, it’s too late for you to compete..:-) and are done indoors. Such as the most famous acrobatics theatre in Beijing, the Chaoyang Theatre.

Prepared to be surrounded by beauty at the show.

Common objects are tables, cups, plates, chairs and bicycles. Bicycles have become a favorite and one of the main highlights of the show in Chaoyang. The stunt involves dozens of bicycles and even greater number of women who join together for a ride of a lifetime. Not to spoil to much of the show I will let the rest be a surprise. Two shows are performed daily and throughout the year. First show at 5:15 and another one later in the evening at 7:15. One might think that such a physical strain would wear them off. Actually the second evening show which we recommend can be even better as the performers are well exercised and in tune.

The famous bicycle stunt: Oops, is that one more woman going to fit or not.

The price ranges all the way from 180 to 880 yuan. The cheapest tickets are reserved quickly, so it is recommended to book at least a day before the show. Like many theaters in China, the Chaoyang Theatre relies on a commission based deal with tour companies all around China. That’s why there are many discount ticket services available, which have significantly lower prices than the box office.

You can get discount tickets at the following websites:

http://www.chaoyangacrobaticshow.com

http://maytoursbeijing.info/beijing-acrobatic-show-tickets

Now for some more goodies.

These guys can jump through anything.

This stunt with the mouth leaves you breathless. Remember to breath with your nose!