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As one of the major schools of opera in China, the Sichuan Opera has a long history. It originated about 400 years ago at the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, there were several different forms of popular theatre in the Sichuan area which gradually developed and blended to emerge as the present Sichuan Opera.
Today's Sichuan Opera is a modern synthesis of 5 historic melodic styles. Sichuan Opera is well-known in China, and it is characterized by solo singing, skillful acting, rich percussion and incredibly funny comedies. Performers wear brightly colored costumes and move to quick, dramatic music.
They also wear vividly colored masks that they may change within a fraction of a second. The magic stunts such as quick face changes without makeup and the acrobatics such as jumping through burning hoops and hiding swords entertain and amuse audiences. The magical face changes are particularly famous.