Chin Chiang (秦腔), the oldest form of Chinese opera that originated in Gansu (甘肅) and Shaanxi (陜西), located in northwestern China, will appear this weekend at the National Theater. The performing group, Shaanxi Province Theatre Academy (陜西省戲曲研究院), was established in 1938 and has toured throughout China and Europe. This is the first time that they have visited Taiwan.
Chin Chiang derives its name from the Chin dynasty (秦) which first unified China more than 2,000 years ago. It has been highly influential in the development of other subsequent forms of Chinese opera. Based on a foundation of regional folk song and dance, it remains true to its rural traditions, but has also had a powerful influence on forms of opera that later became dominant, not least Beijing opera.
Chin Chiang has retained its vitality as a rural form of entertainment and spiritual uplift, one of the reasons it has survived into the modern age.
The Academy will perform the complete opera of The Mistrial of Do'er (竇娥冤) on Saturday night, with its other shows dedicated to highlights of other well-known operas, including Journey to the West (遊西湖) and The Orphan of Zhao (趙氏孤兒).
The show will be performed at the National Theater tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday at 7:30pm, with a 2:30pm matinee tomorrow. Tickets cost NT$400 to NT$1,500.