The Modernization of Chinese Opera

1234 Words3 Pages

The topic of investigation is to determine whether the modernizations of Chinese operas justifiably portrayed China. The investigation will focus on Chinese operas from 1949-1976 and the government’s involvement during the Culture Revolution. Mao’s motivations to reform China are considered within this investigation and the relation between are explored.

The two main sources selected for evaluation, Chinese Perspectives in Rhetoric and Communication by D. Ray Heisey and Red Azalea written by Anchee Min, will be evaluated for their origins, purposes, limitations, and values.

Traditional Chinese operas played a significant role in the lives of the Chinese. Operas were inspiring, entertaining, and very popular for people of all ages and all levels of society (Turzuolo).

During the Cultural Revolution, Mao Zedong used culture as a powerful weapon for maintaining political power and for transforming society. All art forms in China were tightly controlled and manipulated to reform Chinese culture. “True reform could only come with the creation of Chinese operas about non-traditional, preferably contemporary topics” because if operas could be transformed, then China’s literature and art would follow (Clark 15).

Since 1949, operas became state properties of the Communist government for propaganda purposes. Plays were to be examined and approved before they were allowed to be performed for the audience in the “New China”, which was China after 1949. New policies put all theatrical activities under the direct control of the government. Traditional Chinese culture was abolished and uprooted (Clark 11).

The only ballet or opera shown in China were Yang Ban Xi or “The Eight model Plays.” Five of which replaced the traditional Beij...

... middle of paper ... Statues. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. .

Terzuolo, Chiara Park. "Opera and Politics: In China the Twain Shall Meet." Stanford Journal of East Asian Affairs 9.1 (2009): 34-45. 13 Mar. 2009. Web. 02 Feb. 2011. .

King, Richard, Ralph C. Croizier, Scott Watson, and Sheng Tian Zheng. Art in Turmoil: the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76. Vancouver: UBC, 2010. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. .

Clark, Paul. "The Chinese Cultural Revolution: a history." Google Books. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. .

Heisey, D. Ray. "Chinese Perspectives in Rhetoric and Communication." Google Books. Web. 03 Feb. 2011. .

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