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“A good introduction to Peking Opera”

Huguang Guild Hall(Peking Opera)
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Private Tour of Beijing: Shichahai, Nanluoguxiang and Peking Opera with Peking...
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Ranked #9 of 35 Concerts & Shows in Beijing
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A renowned Peking Opera theatre in the heart of Beijing's Xicheng District. Known as one of the "Four Great Theatres" in China, this classic opera venue has hosted performances since 1807. From this historical theatre building you can also find a museum dedicated to the performing art. Huguang Guild Hall is the place to experience the fun and beauty of Chinese culture!
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“A good introduction to Peking Opera”
Reviewed June 15, 2014

Peking Opera is an experience usually appreciated only by its aficionados, but the Huguang Guild Hall provides a more authentic while still tourist-friendly introduction to the genre than some of the other providers in Beijing. The theater itself is historic, and the hour-long (or thereabouts) show presents extracts from two or three classic operas, with enough information in English to be able to grasp what is going on. We found the performance both enlightening and enjoyable, with performers clearly committed to their art.

Visited June 2014
4 Thank JacopoPeri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
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  • Any
English first
Singapore, Singapore
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Mixed Feelings”
Reviewed May 25, 2014

I have always been very fascinated by the Peking Opera. So, I when I found out the Huguang Guild Hall was one of the oldest theatres in Beijing, I knew I had to go see it.

Museum - I was extremely disappointed with the "museum" as it was merely a dingy large room with some pictures and costumes - no explanations.

Show - The show itself was just a sampler that lasts for one hour - and there was a 10 minutes break in between! I am not sure why it needed a break since there was only one to two persons performing at one time. It was very expensive, I read that you could get a much better show if there is any at the National Centre of Performing Arts.

I have mixed feelings about this because the Huguang Guild has such rich history of 200 years and. It felt overwhelming just being there knowing that it was a place where many political agendas in the Late Qing Dynasty were introduced.

If the management is reading this, I hope you do something about this. It is extremely sad to know a place of such beauty is becoming a tourist trap.

1. You can buy a ticket online from the local travel agency, it is cheaper.
2. The nearby Liyuan Theatre offers the same "tourist sampler", but it is located in a hotel ballroom. If you ask me, it will still be better to come to the Huguang Guild just for being in this amazing theatre.

Visited May 2014
5 Thank 40litres
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2013

We had a wonderful evening at the Huguang Opera. The show lasted about 90 minutes and there was some great dancing and costumes. We wanted to experience a Chinese opera and, for us, this was perfect and just the right time. The show had a very slight amateur feel to it but this just added to the atmosphere. The actual theatre is lovely too. One thing that could help is if the opera goers are provided with a written explanation of each act. It only needs to be a paragraph but it would add to the understanding and enjoyment.
The Opera Manager was very nice with us and chatted about the history of the building which in addition made the evening more enjoyable

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Glen F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Detroit, MI
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A cultural experience”
Reviewed October 15, 2013

As many have remarked, Peking opera is not like western opera and a full performance of a Peking opera would be hours long and too much for western tastes. Nonetheless, it has a long tradition in China and should be experienced, if only in a sampler such as is offered at the Huguang Guild Hall. It should be noted that this is a wonderful historic building, dating to 1807, and as such is a preferable venue to the western-style theaters offering Peking Opera. (the hall was also the site of important events in the founding of the Chinese republic by Sun Yat-Sen. Seating is at tables and chairs, not in rows, and there are a few complimentary munchies on the table. Tea is included, although we did not drink any, and various other hot drinks are available for a fee. We were quite impressed with the costumes and the action on stage, which is very acrobatic. We were less impressed with the amplification of the music. The traditional Chinese instruments are played live but miked uncomfortably loud, obscuring the singing on the stage. Nonetheless, we were very pleased that we took the time to see this performance and recommend it as an excellent opportunity to experience something very oriental in its character and very different from western practice.

Visited October 2013
Thank nedrow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prague, Czech Republic
Level 6 Contributor
127 reviews
98 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Ambivalent feelings about this”
Reviewed September 23, 2013

You need to understand that this is something completely different from the western style opera. The singing may sound to you more like squealing and the content of the play is a bit silly, characters are frivolous and their behaviour may look strange sometimes. Also the music that accompanies the play may sound immelidous to you. Chinese opera is not about the content, it is about the choreography, dancing and costumes - and those are just amazing.
What we saw was the excerpt of 3 pieces in 1h30 (opera play normally takes around 6 hours / one play) with english subtitles. You can see the actors dressing and painting their faces right on the scene just before the play starts which is very interesting to see.
Hard to say whether to recommend this or not. Some people in audience loved it, some were totally bored (and I am talking about locals!). But it´s a part of traditional chinese culture, so perhaps give it a try. I kind of liked it, but it was enough fine for me to see this once.

Visited August 2013
4 Thank David K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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