Outside the theater is this large "billboard". Looks like opera, doesn't it? Well, actually, there were about three "acts" that involved music, costumes and dancing. We were on the front row, although our hard, metal seats were less comfortable than the cushioned seats behind us which were less expensive--go figure!
|The Three Warriors|
|Dances with Fans|
Chinese singing or American Screeching
There were several other "acts" which reminded us more of a circus. We didn't photograph it all, but there was a hand-shadow routine (she made birds, dogs, owls and other animals on a shadow screen), a woman who could juggle things with her feet, including a table!, and this woman with a large pole-controlled hand puppet.
This comedy act had a man who balanced a lit oil lamp on his head while walking, climbing and crawling around the stage. His wife was cajoling him into all these tricks, and if he tried to blow out the flame, she was right there to relight it.
Another very talented man played the Erhu (say "Are-huh") and was extremely good at it!
The climax of the show was the famous face-changing masks and fire-spitting routine. The actors would change the masks on their faces (through the use of strings) in a split second and the puppet spit flames from her mouth. It was pretty exciting!
In the lobby was a display of other hand-made opera costumes which were beautiful and elaborate.
Not exactly Mozart or Wagner, but such was our night at the Sichuan Opera in Chengdu!