Min opera, known as Fuzhou drama, is one of major operas in Fujian Province. It enjoys a good popularity in Fuzhou, Middle Fujian, East Fujian and North Fujian where Fuzhou dialect is spoken, as well as in Taiwan and Malay Archipelago. It became a fixed opera in the early 20th Century.
he music for voices in Min Opera mainly consists of Yangge, Jianghudiao, Douqiang and Xiaodiao, with accompanying musical instruments including horizontal flute, suona, touguan, erhu, yehu, Qing drum, war drum, gongs, cymbals and chime stone.
Roles in Min Opera are also classified into “12 roles”: Xiao-sheng (handsome gentlemen), Lao-sheng (virtuous old men), Wu-sheng (young warriors), Qing-yi (sedate ladies with dignity), Hua-dan (either vivacious young girls or viragos), Lao-dan (old females), Da-hua (actor with a painted face, category I), Er-hua (actor with a painted face, category II), San-hua (actor with a painted face, category III), Tie, Mo and Za.
There are more than 1,000 plays of Min Opera, most of which originates from folk tales, historical novels or ancient legends, including such traditional plays as “Making Seal”, “The Purple Jade Hairpin” and “Switching Fairy Peach with Litchi”.