How many types of operas are there in China today? What major changes are taking place in these local operas?
A new report released by the Chinese Ministry of Culture provides the answers to these questions.
According to Ming Wenjun, deputy director general of the Ministry's Department of Arts, after two years of effort ending in June, the culture ministry collected information and data about 348 local opera types, including the number of regular performances, inheritors and performing troupes.
Compared with the information contained in the book Chinese Opera, an authoritative work on Chinese opera completed in the 1980s, the new report lists 60 fewer types of operas.
The reason for this reduced number is because 43 types listed in Chinese Opera, to include Guizhou Bangzi and Sichuan Tuxi, no longer have living inheritors and the other 17 opera forms, such as Zhejiang Nuoxi, are close to extinction, as there are only a few performers and occasional performances.
Among the remaining opera forms, 48 can be found in two or more provinces, while the remaining 300 can only be found in a single province.
As to the density of opera types in major cities, Beijing has eight types of local operas, Shanghai has nine and Tianjin has five.