History of Kun Opera

Kun opera is a form of Chinese musical drama that is based on a Kunshan-style aria. It was originally called kunshan qiang (Kunshan tune), then kun qiang (Kun tune) or kun qu (Kun melody), and later it was given other names like wu ge (Wu songs), wu diao (Wu tune), wu yin (Wu music), wu yu (Wu melody), and ya bu (elegant opera), etc. During the middle period of the Qing Dynasty, the name kun ju (Kun opera) was first used, and it became widely accepted by the public after 1920s. Yet people also kept using kun qu to refer to this opera

 
                      ONE In the second year of the Jingkang period under the reign of Emperor Qinzong in the Song Dynasty (1127AD), the Song court moved to the south. During about a decade around this event, there emerged a so-called nan xi (southern drama) among folks in southern China.   

                      ONE

In the second year of the Jingkang period under the reign of Emperor Qinzong in the Song Dynasty (1127AD), the Song court moved to the south. During about a decade around this event, there emerged a so-called nan xi (southern drama) among folks in southern China. 

 

                    TWO Once came into being, Kun opera became popular among litterateurs. During the Longqing and Wanli period, out of the love for Kun opera, some intellectuals wrote new plays or adapted previous southern drama plays.     

                    TWO

Once came into being, Kun opera became popular among litterateurs. During the Longqing and Wanli period, out of the love for Kun opera, some intellectuals wrote new plays or adapted previous southern drama plays. 

 

 

                    THREE In 1644, the Qing forces were helped by Wu Sangui to enter China through the Shanhai Pass and occupied Beijing. The army marched to the south swiftly and replaced the Sourthern Ming Dynasty. Wars and displacement drove away Kunqu troupes and professionals,  

                    THREE

In 1644, the Qing forces were helped by Wu Sangui to enter China through the Shanhai Pass and occupied Beijing. The army marched to the south swiftly and replaced the Sourthern Ming Dynasty. Wars and displacement drove away Kunqu troupes and professionals,

 

                    FOURTH Li Dou’s Yangzhou Huafang Lu, which was completed during Qianlong’s reign, says: “The Liang Huai Salt Administration keeps having Huabu and Yabu troupes to prepare for spectacles. Yabu refers to Kunshan tune, Huabu is an umbrella concept including Peking tune, Qin tune, Geyang tune,

                    FOURTH

Li Dou’s Yangzhou Huafang Lu, which was completed during Qianlong’s reign, says: “The Liang Huai Salt Administration keeps having Huabu and Yabu troupes to prepare for spectacles. Yabu refers to Kunshan tune, Huabu is an umbrella concept including Peking tune, Qin tune, Geyang tune,

                      FIVE Kunqu Opera has been spread far and wide since the Wanli Reign of Ming Dynasty. Its early practitioners were artists from around Suzhou. Many local artists started learning Kunqu Opera because of its mainstream status, and they expanded Kunqu troupes outside.    

                      FIVE

Kunqu Opera has been spread far and wide since the Wanli Reign of Ming Dynasty. Its early practitioners were artists from around Suzhou. Many local artists started learning Kunqu Opera because of its mainstream status, and they expanded Kunqu troupes outside.  

 

                       SIX At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, among the four Kunqu troupes in Suzhou (Dazhang, Daya, Hongfu and Quanfu), Quanfu lasted the longest. Although it dissolved for several times, it managed to revive.   

                       SIX

At the end of the Qing Dynasty and the beginning of the Republic of China, among the four Kunqu troupes in Suzhou (Dazhang, Daya, Hongfu and Quanfu), Quanfu lasted the longest. Although it dissolved for several times, it managed to revive.