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The Roles in Beijing Opera

The Roles in Beijing Opera

 In Beijing opera, there are four roles: the male and female roles, the painted-face role, and the comedic role. Every role has its own specific brands.

Sheng (male role) is divided into: "Lao Sheng" which means mature, middle-aged man. It always represents an emperor or decent man ("Xiao Sheng" stands for young man).

"Dan", the female role is divided into: "Qing Yi" which refers to a middle-aged woman always acts as Mrs or Miss from noble family. "Wu Dan" means the woman who can fight, while "Hua Dan" always symbolizes a young girl that acts as maid.

"Jing" (painted-face role) means all kinds of painted-faces and acts as the male role that has particular personalities or appearances.

"Mo" also belongs to "Lao Sheng", but he is much older scatterbrain with a low social status. This is because he puts a small dot of whitening on the nose when putting on make-up. He is commonly named as "clown" due to the besmirched, multicolored, clown face that is generally known as "three painted-faces".

"Chou" (comic face which means clown) always acts as the wise and funny folk chivalrous man, or the man who has low social status.

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