Web development


The WordPress version has been updated today on the web site. Let me know if there is a technical glitch.


Fern has decided to change host and is having some trouble with file conversions.

Meanwhile, do not despair, the backed-up contents of her blog can be downloaded here in the form of html web pages.


The new Google “Search by image” feature is pretty surprising. I started with a color picture of Zhang Huoding:


Using GIMP, I changed the canvas size, removed the color and renamed the file to “test.jpg”, giving:


Now I test to see if Google recognizes Zhang Huoding and indeed it does:


Now that’s pretty amazing.

… is both a blessing and a curse. It reported 86 broken links so far. I managed to fix a dozen posts today, you can search for “(Updated 2013-04-23 to fix broken links)” to see which.

It seems they start to take it to heart.

The website of the Shanghai Jingju Company was revamped too!

EN: http://www.pekingopera.sh.cn/index-en.aspx
CH: http://www.pekingopera.sh.cn/index.aspx

This is really just a quick note, but might be helpful.

In case you previously bookmarked the English site of China National Peking Opera Company, delete http://www.cnpoc.cn/en/ and update the link to http://www.cnpoc.cn/en_index.asp.

The site made tremendous advancement lately, including a pretty long list of opera synopses, the articles from 2012 are written by someone who definitely can speak English. Hopefully old articles gradually get a face-lift too. Some operas got really good titles, for example the story of Jin Yunu was “translated” as Pay Your Price. Isn’t that brilliant?

Their Who’s Who is clearly in the “under construction” phase, let’s hope the new editor keeps up the good work and updates the profiles of performers, as he/she did with Dong Yuanyuan’s for example.

The pages of the old site are still online though, I don’t know it’s good or bad. I suspect they get removed when everything is rendered into final and internationally acceptable form on the new site.

Anyhow, congratulations to the new webmaster and editors of CNPOC!


This web site, operabeijing.com, is a not-for-profit web site has been around for about 18 months now. We had a big facelift in July to coincide with improved hosting.

Please note these ticket salesmen in China are not related to or affiliated with us in any way.



Google is great.

Though when it comes to Chinese opera, searching without Chinese characters is doomed. Especially applies to videos, since the best stuff is “hidden” on Chinese sites, except a few great channels on You Tube.

There are many online tools to handle the language barrier issue. I tried loads of them, and finally picked the best ones. Also compiled a list of basic search terms related to Chinese opera (all in simplified characters, as far as I noticed Google doesn’t make a difference between simplified and traditional), and a list of links to great video and audio resources.

I’ll keep this post updated, hope it will be useful.

Useful tools

  • Hanzi to Pinyin Online – Copy-paste Chinese characters and get them Romanized in a whim
  • Xiaoma Cidian – The best Chinese-English dictionary, easy to identify characters, text annotation function (Simplified only!) 
  • YellowBridge – Character dictionary, animated stroke order function, word and character details, etymology, both in Traditional and Simplified
  • Traditional-Simplified Converter – Quickly converts traditional characters to simplified and versa vice
  • Text to Speech – Copy-paste Chinese characters, click Say it! and listen to the pronounciation

Main 5 branches of Chinese opera

  • 京剧 jingju – Beijing Opera
  • 越剧 yueju – Shaoxing Opera
  • 黄梅戏 huangmeixi – Huangmei Opera
  • 评剧 pingju – Pingju
  • 豫剧 yuju – Henan Opera

Most popular local operas

(There are around 360, impossible to list all. )

  • 昆曲 kunqu – Kun Opera
  • 粤剧 yueju – Cantonese Opera
  • 河北梆子 hebei bangzi – Hebei Opera
  • 川剧 chuanju – Sichuan Opera
  • 晋剧 jinju – Shanxi Opera
  • 蒲剧 puju – Puzhou Opera
  • 秦腔 qinqiang – Qinqiang (local opera of northwest Shaanxi)
  • 汉剧 hanju – Hanju (local opera of Hubei)
  • 湘剧 xiangju – Hunan Opera
  • 祁剧 qiju – Qiyang Opera (local opera of Qiyang, Hunan)
  • 潮剧 chaoju – Teochew Opera
  • 闽剧 minju – Fuzhou Opera
  • 莆仙戏 puxianxi – Puxian Opera (local opera of Putian, Fujian)
  • 吕剧 lüju – Lüju (local opera of Eastern Shandong)
  • 沪剧 huju – Shanghai Opera
  • 庐剧 luju – Luju (local opera of East-central Anhui)
  • 花鼓戏 huaguxi – Huaguxi (popular along Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Guangdong)
  • 徽剧 huiju – Anhui Opera
  • 绍剧 shaoju – Shaoju  (popular along Zhejiang, Ningbo, Shanghai)
  • 锡剧 xiju – Wuxi Opera

General terms

  • 戏曲 – Chinese opera
  • 演唱会 – vocal concert
  • 剧情 – storyline, plot
  • 剧本 – script for play, screenplay
  • 唱词 – lyrics
  • 曲谱 – musical scores
  • 选段 – excerpt
  • 剧照 – stage photo
  • 剧目 – theater piece
  • 电视连续剧 – TV series
  • 高清 – HD
  • 全剧 – full-length play
  • 音配像 –  old records lip-synched by new artists
  • 下载 – download

Links to video sites

CNTV’s channel dedicated to Chinese Opera

After picking what you want always click the green button to download the RAR files.


(originally published on: Apr 30, 2010)

There is an excellent tool to do this here.