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Home of Drama

Shangluo Huagu opera “A Couple Viewing Lanterns” created in 1950s has won top prize at the first drama exhibition organized by five northwestern provinces, and was commended by central leadership during the National Music Week in Beijing. In 1960s, Shangluo Daoqing “A Copper Coin” created quite a stir in northwestern five provinces when launched, and was filmed as an opera art film released nationwide and popular even abroad in more than ten countries and districts in southeastern Asia. In 1970s, a masterpiece “A Butcher-born Scholar” won top prize of Shaanxi when it was put on stage at the 30th Anniversary of National Day, covered by CCTV, provincial TV station and the press. This opera was a big hit when put on stage for more than a hundred times in capital city of Shaanxi so much so that it was transplanted by opera troupes from more than twenty provinces and cities and filmed as opera art movie shown on screen. This is the most successful attempt to renovate ancient opera since reform and opening to the outside world. The opera is already listed into “Classical Series of Chinese Drama” and remains a repertory in Shangluo. In 1980s, Shangluo Huagu “Liujin County Magistrate” won national award for excellent opera writing and golden prize of national play writing after it was put on stage at the Annual Meeting of National Modern Opera. The opera was chosen to show at Huairen Tang in Beijing for central leaders; the troupe was interviewed and praised by state leaders including Xi Zhongxun, He Jingzhi and Zhu Muzi. After performance, the Ministry of Culture organized a tour performance in Tianjin, Shanghai and Wuhan, causing a sensation in half of China. Shangluo and its opera were covered in more than 50 articles of 16 press units including the People’s Daily, Guangming Daily and Shaanxi Daily. Huagu opera “A Family in Jiwowa” based on Jia Pingwa’ novel won national third prize and provincial first prize at national modern drama competition; later on, it was adapted into a movie Wild Mountains. In 1990s, the modern Huagu opera “Soul of Mountains” won first prize at a provincial art performance, and gained peer praise at annual meeting of national modern opera, where Shangluo troupe was officially accepted as a member of Modern Chinese Opera Council. In 1998, operas “Shangjun Kaiguan” and “Yeshan Fangcao” created and rehearsed during the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China were rated excellent plays at provincial exhibition performance. At Shaanxi drama exhibition and performance, five short plays of Shangluo including Wife in Farmhouse and Mountain Girl won 26 prizes. Shangluo owes the title “Home of Drama” to individual plays and to Shangluo Troupe that was honored as Advanced Collective of National Cultural Work by the Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Personnel and made great contribution to development of drama in Shangluo.

(1) Luonan Jingbanshu
It began to prevail during Qing Daoguang’s reign (about 1821). The folk artists talk and sing seven-word rhyming verses; one of them manipulates sixe instruments and talks, beats, strikes, speaks and sings. Luonan Jingbanshu is also included into the list of national intangible cultural heritage protection.

(2) Zhen’an – Zhashui Yugu (percussion drum)
It is a talking and singing art derived from Jianghan migrant culture integrated into local culture; it is mixed with folk songs and dances, also called Yugu Daoqing. Instruments include Yugu tube, Dao tube and bamboo Qin. Yugu was introduced into Zhen’an and Zhashui more than 200 years ago. Since 1950s, breakthroughs have been made in Yugu programs, performances and instruments as folk troupes are organized. Zhen’an Yugu and Zhashui Yugu are already included into the list of Shaanxi provincial intangible cultural heritage protection

(3) Famous writer – Jia Pingwa
Jia Pingwa, born in Dihua Village, Danfeng County, Shangluo, now acts as chairman of Shaanxi Writers’ Union and has published more than 20 literary works represented by Qin Qiang, with some published in English, French, German, Russian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. He has won the Seventh Mao Dun Literary Prize, American Mobil Pegasus Literary Prize, French Prix Femina and France Literary Arts Prize.

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