Chinese opera, together with the Indian Sanskrit Opera and the Greek tragic-comedy, forms part of the trinity of the oldest dramatic art forms in the world. As such, Chinese opera is an umbrella term, and covers a cast array of schools within – ranging from Kun, Peking, Shaoxing, Yue, Huangmei, Chuan, Ping, Hebei Bangzi, Henan Bangzi and Chao Operas. Each of the schools of Chinese Opera draws its roots from a particular region of China, and reflects the life and times of its peoples through a medium of dance, music and drama. While some of the schools like the Ping Opera are relatively recent agglomerations of prior schools, a few schools like the Chuan and the Kung continue ...view middle of the document...
Black. Black was the color attributed originally to the color of the skin, and was the color of choice to depict Bao Zeng, a scholar and statesman of repute in the Song Dynasty in the tenth century. Based on the antecedent of representing an upright and noble gentleman, black continues to represent nobility, straight-forwardness and integrity (China Gaze).
Red. Red as a color was originally used in conjunction with black to depict skin color. Over the years, it has come to be associated with the positive qualities of loyalty, courage and uprightness, and it used to depict gallant soldiers and celestial beings (China Gaze).
White. White is mainly used to depict villainy and treachery, and the use of this color for such qualities harks back to Cao Cao, a treacherous warlord in the Eastern Han dynasty. At times, white also represents age, and is used for generals and monks who are old and have a ruddy complexion (China Gaze).
Green. Green is used to represent bravery, recklessness and violence. Bandits in the Chinese opera are often depicted with green masks(China Gaze).
Blue. Blue, together with green and black, forms a triad depicting skin color. Blue shares the traits of fierceness with green. In addition, blue carries the flavor of cunningness and deceit (China Gaze).
Purple. Purple finds its place between red and black. Accordingly, it conveys emotions of solemnity, uprightness and seriousness. At times, purple also serves to accentuate facial ugliness to the audience(China Gaze).
Yellow. Yellow is used to depict characters with short temper. In addition, yellow depicts bravery, sturdiness and ferocity (China Gaze).
Silver and Gold. Silver and golden masks are generally used...