Chinese opera, a treasure of the traditional Chinese music, is known as one of the world’s three ancient drama cultures together with Greek tragicomedy and Indian Buddhist drama. Featuring song, speech, dance-acting and combat, with roles of Sheng, Dan, Jing, and Chou, Chinese opera involves a variety of genres and schools. The unique opera culture attracts the attention of the world and many overseas students to appreciate and learn this common cultural heritage of mankind.
Chinese Classical Opera Music is an English elective course open to foreign students in Shanghai Conservatory of Music. This course introduces Chinese opera music by presenting the six representative classical operas in China: Kunqu opera, Beijing opera, Yuju opera, Shaanxi opera, Yuju opera, and Huangmei opera. It also involves a brief opera history, performance, opera music, opera literature, makeup and stage aesthetic features. In addition to theories, the classroom interaction will be in various forms: experts and teachers in performance, makeup, and instruments will be invited to the classroom to raise the students’ interest in traditional Chinese music and improve their understanding. By appreciating, analyzing, watching and singing operas, the foreign students will get familiar with and understand the history of Chinese operas, their music characteristics, genres and representative works, touch the traditions, and then have a better understanding of Chinese culture.