In the late nineties of the last century, when theaters, even in megalopolises, were still exclusively state-owned, there could be no talk of any Western theater.
Serious reforms in the life of Chinese theaters began in 2005, when the government gave the go-ahead to the opening of private theaters. They began to win real popular popularity relatively recently - since 2009. Nick Rongun Yu, deputy director of the Shanghai Center for Dramatic Arts, believes that now a kind of “golden age” has arrived for the theater in China. The Chinese government has money and is ready to spend it, including on theaters.
Liyuan Theater in Beijing
Liyuan Theater is famous all over the capital for its productions in the genre of the Peking Opera. It is located in the Qianmen’s building. In the theater hall the atmosphere of old Beijing is recreated. The hall has a capacity of 1000 seats. There are square tables for eight people, at which the audience drink tea during a theatrical performance.
In the theater, before the performance begins, visitors are allowed to enter the dressing room and watch the actors apply make-up. Liyuan Theater is equipped with the latest equipment for simultaneous translation into Japanese and English, so foreign tourists can be seen in it often.
Address: No.175 Yongan Road, Xuanwu District
Grand Theater Chang'an in Beijing
The famous Grand Theater Chang'an, also called the Palace of Culture and Entertainment Chang'an, is a modern Peking theater with a multi-functional stage, computer and sound systems. The interior of the building is made with elements typical of the times of the Ming dynasty.
It is one of the most popular opera houses in Beijing, and thanks to its modern design, it is considered one of the best acoustic Beijing theaters. It was reopened in 1996 after a three-year renovation.
It has 800 seats and VIP seats on the second floor. The seats in this room are decorated with mahogany chairs and tables, on which are hand-painted teapots, creating an old-fashioned atmosphere.
On the second floor of the museum is a museum with costumes and other theatrical objects.
Address: No.7 Jianguomennei Main Street, Dongcheng District
Baoli Theater in Beijing
Established in 2005, Baoli Theater is considered one of the largest cultural sites in all of East China. The theater building was built in European style. It can accommodate up to 2,000 people who are provided with a unique opportunity to enjoy not only the most popular songs and dances, but also see interesting art programs.
The theater is conveniently located in the center of Beijing. Since its opening, it has successfully presented 3,000 performances of various kinds to more than 300 artistic groups. It is recognized as the most luxurious theater in Beijing. Today, it is equipped with modern acoustics and a lighting system, which allows it to meet the various needs of different artistic groups.
World famous conductors such as Christopher Penderetsky, Vladimir Ashkenazi, pianists Martha Argerich, Fu Kong, Lee Yundi and others have performed in this theater.
Address: 1F Baoli Building, No.14 Dongzhimen South Street, Dongcheng District
Beijing National Arts Theater
Beijing National Arts Theater was founded in 1952 by the famous playwright Cao Yu. The theater building is a vivid example of the monumental "Stalinist architecture." No extra decorations - everything is very strict and majestic. The interior of the theater also cannot boast a rich decoration.
In its repertoire, the theater focuses on the production of dramatic works by Chinese authors, although lately the theater also puts on dramas by contemporary foreign authors, often adapting them to the national style.
Address: No.22 Wangfujing Main Street
Red Theater in Beijing
The Red Theater is located in the historic district of Beijing, the capital of China. The theater is located in the building, which is an architectural monument, its walls are decorated in red, and with the onset of darkness they are beautifully illuminated with lanterns. The peculiarity of the Red Theater is that the actors are not the actors, but the monks of the Shaolin monastery. All performances here are given in the style of acrobatic productions with elements of kung Fu. The tricks are performed by the participants of the performances without any insurance, and this is really breathtaking.
Theatrical performances are conducted in Chinese, but for tourists on the screen there are the accompanying subtitles in English. In the brochure, which is given to each viewer before the performance, there is a legend shown on the stage in Russian. Shooting with a camera or video camera during a performance is prohibited, but after the program is completed, you can take a picture with actors-monks who are the heroes of the play. Performances in the Red Theater are held daily and are very popular among residents and guests of Beijing.
Address: No.44, Xing Fu Da Jie, Chongwen District
National Big Theater in Beijing
The state-of-the-art building of the Big National Theater of China is an ellipse shape resembling an egg or a drop of water. The theater building is located on an artificial lake - it is connected to the city by an underground tunnel. It seems to symbolize the mysterious transition from ordinary, real life to the world of illusions, to the world of the beautiful. The theater building itself is divided into two parts by a glass coating - thanks to this afternoon, the light easily penetrates through the glass roof, and at night the theater becomes like a huge aquarium.
The theater includes three main halls: the opera house, the concert hall and the theater. There are also many exhibition halls, restaurants and places for recreation.
Address: West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng
Chaoyang Theater in Beijing
Chaoyang Theater specializes in the art of traditional Chinese acrobatics, although it also hosts dance performances and opera performances in the style of a Peking opera. The two-story theater building was built in 1984. Its auditorium seats 1398 people. In 2001, the Chaoyang Theater was named one of the best cultural centers in China. If you are a fan of acrobatics, then visiting this theater is a must for you. You will not see such bright and technically complex acrobatic numbers anywhere else.
Address: No.36 North East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District
Tiandi Acrobatic Theater in Beijing
The Acrobatic Tiandi Theater, also called the Theater of Heaven and Earth, was established in 1950. The theater is located a hundred meters from the Poly Square. It has a small hall, designed for only 1,000 seats, which means that all the spectators are located at a short distance from the stage.
The theater is home to the Chinese National Acrobatic Troup, whose performances are watched with great pleasure by both adults and children. In addition to acrobatic shows, the theater also hosts various lectures and film shows.
Address: No.10 Dongzhimen Nandajie, Dongcheng District
Huguang Guild House Theater in Beijing
The Huguang Theater Guild House is located in Beijing. It was built in 1807. During the rule of the Qing dynasty, it organized meetings for guests from the provinces of Hunan and Hubei. The Xiangxian Temple, the Wenchang Pavilion, the ancient theater and other old architectural buildings are located on the territory of the guild house. Also here is the current Peking Museum of Opera and Drama.
House guild Huguang has a glorious history. However, after many years, it lost its former glory and external beauty. In the 80s of the last century, with the support of the Beijing City Hall and the administration of the city’s Xuanu district, the restoration of the Huguang Guild House began. Although now its dimensions are not as large as before, almost all the main objects were still able to be restored. In particular, the theater, which after its restoration was included in the list of the 10 largest wooden theaters in the world.
Today, with the exception of special cases, there are no microphones or other acoustic devices in the theater. Most often, the theater is visited by lovers of the Peking Opera. Not only locals, but also connoisseurs of Peking opera from abroad. Especially for foreign tourists, the ancient theater provides translation services in English and Japanese. This unique building is the home of the Huguang Guild - it combines antiquity and modernity.
Address： Hufang Lu 3, Xicheng District
Chinese State Theater Peking Opera
The Chinese State Theater of the Peking Opera is an organization uniting several troupes of the Peking Opera, as well as managing the Theater Center, the Bolshoi Theater named after Mei Lanfang and the National Theater. It reports directly to the Ministry of Culture of China.
The Chinese Theater of Peking Opera was founded by the famous actor of the Peking Opera Mei Lanfang on January 1, 1955 as the Chinese troupe of the Peking Opera. From the very beginning, the theater began to invite artists, writers, conductors and composers to bring together the best specialists in the field of Peking opera. Over the years, artists such as Li Shaochun, Liu Changyu, Yuan Xihai, Zhang Khodin, and many others have participated in the productions of the theater.
Over one hundred plays on historical themes were staged by the theater; over two hundred traditional and local operas were adapted and staged, as well as numerous modern plays. In addition to performing at their own venues, the theater troupe toured over 50 countries and regions.
Zhengyici Theater in Beijing
The Zhengyici Theater Building was built in 1667, and today it is the only wooden building in China. That is why this theater is sometimes called the “living fossil of the Chinese theater”. This Chinese theater building is older than the buildings of the Vienna Opera, Paris Comedie Francaise Theater and Covent Garden London.
Zhengyici Theater can rightfully claim to be the cradle of the art of the Peking Opera. As early as the 19th century, in 1862–1874, the well-known founders of the Beijing opera Cheng Changeng, Tan Xinpei and Mei Lanfang shone on this stage. In the 20th century, such luminaries of traditional Chinese art as Mei Baoju and Tan Yuanshou performed here.
The famous Chinese writer Liang Shici wrote about the amazing atmosphere that reined in the Theater in the 1940s: “The Theater is like a kaleidoscope. Here, men in western formal suits sit next to women in traditional qipao, here there is a thunder of drums and the shrill sounds of gongs; here the scent of exotic incense and perfume.
Address: 220 Xiheyan Dajie