Huangmei or Huangmei tone (黃梅戲 or 黃梅調) originated as a form of rural folksong and dance that has been in existence for the last 200 years and possibly longer. Huangmei opera is one of the most famous and mainstream opera in China (others are Beijing opera, Yue opera, Pin opera and Yu opera). The original Huangmei opera was sung by women when they were picking tea, and the opera was called the Picking Tea Song. In the late Qing dynasty, the songs came into Anhui Province— Huaining County adjacent regions, combined with the local folk art, Anqing dialect with singing and chants, and gradually developed into a newborn’s operas.

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The Huangmei opera was active in Anhui Province, Hubei Province and Jiangxi Province in the 18th century. From the Revolution of 1911 to 1949, Huangmei performances gradually became professional, from rural areas to city stages. After Huangmei arrived in Anqing City, artists developed the opera and borrowed performance styles from other operas. They reformed the traditional chants, reducing the function words to make the drama easy to understand with a lively rhythm. 1952 is a key year for Huangmei opera. It was during this year that the excellent artists Yan Fengying, Wang Shaofang and others gave performances in Shanghai for a big opera festival. Audiences from various areas were shocked and appreciated Huangmei opera, attracted by its new singing forms and stories. Huangmei opera became very popular and famous after that. The big success evoked the passion of Huangmei opera artists and they created The Marriage of A Fairy Princess and Female Consort Prince which are classics.


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