Since the time of the Tang Dynasty 's Emperor Xuanzong from to —who created the first national opera troupe called the "Pear Garden"—Chinese opera has been one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the country, but it actually started nearly a millennium before in the Yellow River Valley during the Qin Dynasty. Now, more than a millennium after Xuanzong's death, it is enjoyed by political leaders and commoners alike in many fascinating and innovative ways, and Chinese opera performers are still referred to as "Disciples of the Pear Garden," continuing to perform an astonishing different forms of Chinese opera. Many of the features that characterize modern Chinese opera developed in northern China, particularly in the Shanxi and Gansu Provinces, including the use of certain set characters like Sheng the man , Dan the woman , Hua the painted face and Chou the clown. In Yuan Dynasty times—from to —opera performers began to use the vernacular language of the common people rather than Classical Chinese. During the Ming Dynasty—from to —and the Qing Dynasty—from to —the northern traditional singing and drama style from Shanxi was combined with melodies from a southern form of Chinese opera called "Kunqu. Kunqu Opera revolves around the Kunshan melody, created in the coastal city of Kunshan.
A Brief History of Chinese Opera
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It is an amalgamation of various art forms that existed in ancient China, and evolved gradually over more than a thousand years, reaching its mature form in the 13th century during the Song dynasty — Early forms of Chinese theater are simple, but over time they incorporated various art forms, such as music, song and dance, martial arts, acrobatics, costume and make-up art, as well as literary art forms to become traditional Chinese opera. There are over a hundred regional branches of traditional Chinese opera today. In the 20th century the Peking opera emerged in popularity and has come to known as the "national theatre" of China,  but other genres like Yue opera , Cantonese opera , Yu opera , kunqu , qinqiang , Huangmei opera , pingju , and Sichuan opera are also performed regularly before dedicated fans. Their differences are mainly found in the music and topolect ; the stories are often shared and borrowed.
The masks used in Chinese opera may be a mystery to outsiders, but to lovers of Chinese opera who are familiar with Chinese arts, one look and they can easily identify the character, and even the role that the character will play in the opera. His face mask was therefore depicted as black. His image was widely recognized, and the color black became a symbol of fairness and impartiality. With time, the black mask represented courage and integrity, straightforwardness, and being resolute. The characteristics of the color red are loyalty, courage, and uprightness — so red is usually used in positive roles.