“BeijingOpera at Liyuan Theater”

After reading some of the negative reviews on Trip Advisor, I was hesitant to attend any of the Beijing Operas. Luckily my wife and I did go to the Beijing Opera performance at the Liyuan Theater at the Qianmen Hotel and we were glad that we did! Yes this is a show designed for tourists, so if you are an…

“A Beijing Experience Not to be Missed”

Peking Opera is not everyone’s cup of tea and it is certainly different from any opera you may have experienced before. Liyuan theatre gives the foreigner a taste of it. The performers are as much actors as they are dancers and acrobats, making each move look very deliberate and effortless. The music is a integral part the performance with the actors hand & head gestures are synchronised with the music to add emphasis to the acton. Costumes range from simple to the elaborate and add to the character of the performance.
Each performance usually has 2 or 3 stories. 2 large LED screens flash an explanation and/or translation of the whats being sung. It can be confusing as it sometimes very literal and not make any sense. You will need to read quickly at times.
You can purchase tickets from the box office but my recommendation would be to buy from a travel agent or hotel booking office as these are usually cheaper thru them.
Go early to watch one of the performers paint their face and get dressed up on stage.
The uninitiated will get an eye and ear full!!

“A Great Experience – Part of the Culture of China”

Yes, we had heard rude comments about the Beijing Opera but were so very glad that we ignored the negativity. The whole experience was interesting and good fun. It was a great way to spend two hours in an evening in Beijing.

For us it started with arriving early at the Liyuan Theatre and being seated at our table in the VIP section where we were presented with some snacks to eat [not bad] and we enjoyed seeing the tea waiter pouring the hot water with relish at arms length into our pot. You can purchase further soft or alcoholic drinks at a reasonable price.

At 7:00 pm one of the performers came and sat on stage and demonstrated how they applied the make-up and outfits prior to the performance.At 7:30 the show started and consisted of two short stories. On our visit we enjoyed Autumn River – a merry tale about a nun and an elderly boatman who teases her as she tries to catch up with her lover.- and then Presenting a pearl on the rainbow bridge. The colourful costumes were marvellous and the singing and dancing was hopefully a fine example of Chinese Opera. In total the performance lasted about an hour and the stories were explained in English on screens.

There was good comedy in the movements of the actors and we were incredibly impressed by the acrobatic and juggling ability of the second piece where fine football skills were demonstrated.

A fun evening – it is traditional but the experience is very worthwhile and brings a smile to your face.

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