You don’t need to understand Cantonese or be familiar with the stories of Chinese history and mythology from which the dramas of Chinese opera are written to enjoy it. The performance alone is entertainment enough, with their spectacle of colourful costumes and extravagant sets. Before attending the Chinese Opera in Beijing I had heard a lot about the famously unique style of singing used in these operas and couldn’t wait to hear it for myself.
Unfortunately the singing sounded more like screeching to me but the costumes and performance was beautiful to watch. I was quite scared that we would be lost, not knowing the myths or story the opera was based on, but they provided screens on the side that translated what they were singing on stage into English. This is one of those cultural experiences that are amazing to see but experiencing it once was enough for me.