Cultural Operas in Taiwan

One of the most rewarding cultural excursions in Taiwan is traditional Chinese Opera. Although this art may be difficult for the uninitiated to appreciate, its enchanting librettos, unique and arresting musical forms and resplendent visual presentation are an essential part of refined Chinese culture. Chinese operas are, of course, first and foremost stories. If possible, read up on the storyline before attending a performance; your enjoyment will increase with understanding.
For the pure classical form of northern-style Chinese opera, Taiwan has two national opera troupes, the Fu Hsing and the Kuo Kuang. The latter has in recent years added newly penned, but very classical scripts to its full repertoire of standard pieces. There is a broad spectrum of other opera styles as well, ranging from tragic to comic, from historical to modern. The most active style in Taiwan, naturally, is Taiwanese Opera, also called gezai opera.
The Cloud Gate Theater Troupe is world renowned for its application of Chinese traditions and Taiwanese folk influences to modern dance. This well established theater company has a loyal following in Europe, but when they’re not out of the country on tour, they perform frequently at home, developing an ever-expanding repertoire of performances.
Taiwan also has a burgeoning subculture of little theater – small, experimental groups that in recent years have vitalized and localized drama on the island.

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