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  • Intangible Cultural Heritage

Guansuo Opera at Xiaotun Village


Guansuo Opera is an ancient and rare type of drama popular in Xiaotun Village, Yangzong Town, Chengjiang County, and is known as the “living fossil” of drama. Guansuo Opera specializes in Shu operas in the story of the Three Kingdoms, which focused on praising the achievements of Liu Bei, Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and other Shu-Han characters. Famous plays include Hua Guan Suo Zhan Shan Yue, San Niang Gong Zhu Zhan, Xiao Long Zhan Huang Zhong, etc. There is no complicated instrumental accompaniment for Guansuo Opera, only gongs and drums are required. There is narration in the singing, and there is singing in the narration. Both the singing and the narration are in the local dialect. The singing voices and tunes are mainly long board, short board, letter board, seven-character board, big knife tune, etc., and gongs and drums are used to change the tune. The actors only have Sheng, Dan, and Jing, while the Jing actors only have Bao Sanniang and Princess Baihua, who are dressed as women by men. Actors don’t need to apply rouge on their faces, but wear masks. Before the performance, ceremonies such as “Sacrifice to the King of Medicine”, “Village Stepping”, “Street Stepping” and “Household Stepping” will be held. According to the the tradition, Guansuo operas are performed for three years and then stopped for three years, because Guansuo operas are played for peace and prosperity. It won’t work if it is played continuously. However, nowadays, this kind of performance custom has changed. In recent years, performances have been performed in the village and other villages during the Spring Festival every year, and it can also be performed at any time when major events are held in the county.