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(chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2017-03-10
Leizhou opera is one of the four great Han opera styles performed in Guangdong province. It is popular among speakers of the Leizhou dialect due to its rich folk songs.
Zhanjiang is the birthplace of Leizhou opera. Developing over 300 years from its origins in the Leizhou Peninsula at the end of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Leizhou opera was not officially named until 1964, previously by the names Guniang song, Quanshi song and Daban song.
Beginning as simple Leizhou folk songs and lyrical ballads, local performers would sing in an antiphonal style and improvise lyrics inspired from daily life. Later, local writers created plots and fixed dialogues which formed the earliest Leizhou opera scripts. Arias of the opera have since developed into two main genres after 1949, Gaotai and Leiou.
The primary instrument of Leizhou opera is the leihu, a kind of orchestral instrument, and the music of Leizhou opera is incredibly rhythmic.
Leizhou opera was listed among the third batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritages.
Leizhou opera is one of the four great Han opera styles performed in Guangdong province. [Photo/yinsha.com]
Performed in the Leizhou dialect, Leizhou opera is popular among locals in Guangdong province. [Photo/yinsha.com]
Leizhou opera features varied story subjects and interesting musical rhythms. [Photo/yinsha.com]