Jingju opera production (1959)
The Orphan of Zhao is an ancient Chinese story that can be traced back 2,500 years and has a rich history on the Chinese stage.
Pictured is an influential production of The Orphan of Zhao which opened in Beijing in 1959. This production was a product of its time - the ruler of the Jin State was portrayed as lustful, cruel and incompetent.
There are many different types of Chinese opera, mainly attached to different regions. Beijing opera (jingju) is one of the most well-known forms.
General Wei Jiang, mistakenly believing that Cheng Ying had betrayed the orphan, attacks Cheng (left), performed by Ma Lianliang, the master of the Ma acting school for male actors, who established his own singing and performance style.
Photo provided by Ma Lung. Information by Li Ruru – Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds.