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Sichuan Opera Face-Changing Show Guide

25 April 2010 23 Comments

(BianLian 变脸 in Chineses) is a kind of magic tradinational Chinese dramatic art that is know as the pride of opera. It’s still a big secret how can they do that, But fortunately, We can enjoy Face-changing show easily in .

Maybe you know the famous Beijing opera, But maybe you don’t know there are more than 1,300 local operas in China. is one of the oldest. I also think is more facetious than others.

Besides its unique solo singing, rich percussion and funny come-dians, Sichuan opera also famous by its unique skills: the face-changing, rolling lamps(滚灯) and spitting fire(吐火),

Face-changing is so magic, That you would be puzzled how they change the masks magically and so many times within a second. And they even needn’t flourish their arms and twist their heads to cover up their tracks at all!

The face-changing is considered as an important intangible cultural heritage in China. This secret has been passed down from one generation to the next within families. Only a few people have grasped this skill.

Face-changing has more than 300 years’ history. At the beginning opera actors changed the color of their face during performances by blowing into a bowl of red,black or gold powder. the powder would adhere to their oiled skin quickly. By the 1920′s,opera actors began using layers of masks, first made of oiled paper or dried pig bladder, Then silk mask. They can wear much as two-dozen layers’ masks, and pull off one by one.

Yeah, As I said, Face-Changing was traditionally performed by actors. To my surprise, I saw the girls performed Face-changing at ShunXing !

Here attached the video of face-changing I took by cell phone, It’s not so clear but you can still feel its magic! I choosed a song named “Face-changing” as the music. :P

Because I can’t visit youtube.com. So I have to upload the video on a Chinese website, I know it has too many disturbing advertisements, But I have no choice but only can say sorry. :(

If you want enjoy the famous face-changing show, here is the Face-Changing Guide In Chengdu:

  • 1. Sichuan Opera Theater
    Address:New GuangHua Street, Chengdu(成都新光华街)
    Tel: (028) 6658400
    Fax: (028) 6658400


  • 2. Shufeng Square(蜀风广场)
    Address: inside People’s Park,CiTang Street, ChengDu (成都市祠堂街口人民公园内)


  • 3. Shufeng Yayun Garden(蜀风雅韵园)
    Address: in the Culture Park,No.73 QinRai Rroad, Chengdu (成都琴台路73号文化公园内)
    Ticket:RMB 150Yuan (Including Sichuan opera show, Tea and snacks )
    Show Time:20:00pm~21:30pm Every night


  • 4. Ancient platform(古戏台)
    Address: Inside WuHouCi, No.231 WuHouCi street, Chengdu(成都市武侯祠大街231号武侯祠内)
    Ticket:RMB 80Yuan (Including Sichuan opera show,Tea and snacks )
    Show Time:20:00pm~21:30pm Every night


  • 5. Shunxing Old Tea House(顺兴老茶馆)
    Address: third floor of Chengdu International Exhibition Center, No. 258, Shawan Road (金牛区沙湾路258号成都国际会展中心3楼)
    Tel: 028-87693202 87649999-ShunXing Old Teahuse
    Sichuan Opera Show:
    20:00-21:00pm every night
    Ticket: 70 RMB(The price include a cup of covered bowl tea)


  • 6. Yuelai Tea House(悦来茶馆)
    Address: Huaxingzheng Street,chengdu (成都锦江区华兴正街)
    Ticket:RMB 15~30Yuan (Including Sichuan opera show and Tea)
    Show Time:
    Provides Sichuan opera performances every Saturday.

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  • vicky said:

    yeah, it’s so pity,i didn’t visit it.Hopy my next journey to chengdu.


    iWalk reply on May 29th, 2010 4:39 pm:

    But you still have enough chances to visit Chengdu, Vicky!

    Don’t worry, Be happy! ~`yeah, that’s the name of my favorite song.


  • 景晖 said:



    .-= 景晖´s last blog ..How to Handle & Do Well in an Interview =-.


    iWalk reply on May 29th, 2010 5:23 pm:

    .-= iWalk´s last blog ..Sichuan Opera Face-Changing Show Guide =-.


  • jam said:

    I had watched Sichuan Opera before in Jinjiang Theatre (锦江剧场), Chengdu. I like the show very much especially the face changing, rolling lamp, puppet performance, hand shadow play, etc. Would like to go back to Sichuan and see the show again!
    .-= jam´s last blog ..Fabulous Destinations for Your Summer Holiday =-.


    iWalk reply on May 29th, 2010 5:31 pm:

    Oh Jam, I have never visited JinJiang Theatre though I have lived so many years in ChengDu, What a pity!
    .-= iWalk´s last blog ..Sichuan Opera Face-Changing Show Guide =-.


  • NiceArtLife said:

    Beautiful art form, I saw the film Bian Lian (King of masks) about this ancient and beautiful art. Very impressive!


    iWalk reply on May 29th, 2010 5:38 pm:

    Oh, Yeah, I know King Of Masks, That’s the kind of movie which makes me cry.
    .-= iWalk´s last blog ..Sichuan Opera Face-Changing Show Guide =-.


  • SGE said:

    Hi Iwalk!

    Only now I’ve noticed you’re back online – hope everything is alright with you and the ones you love. I’m very happy to be able to read your nice posts again!

    Again nice to have you back,
    Regards from Portugal,
    .-= SGE´s last blog ..San Francisco, California, USA – Part II =-.


    iWalk reply on May 29th, 2010 4:32 pm:

    I miss you and your blog so much SGE, I don’t know when I can read all those dreat websites like blogspt.com, Facebook.com, Youtube.com, twitter.com etc. freely, Then I wouldn’t lost information from friends like you!

    Best regrads, SGE, I hope you have very very happy time in Portugal!


  • Che-Cheh said:

    Hi there, long time no see!
    I’ve watched the face-changing act in Beijing and also here in Malaysia. Really want to know their secret. Hehe
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  • Melaka Girl said:

    never experienced it before but definitely would like to watch it if I had the chance in the future. thanks for sharing this info.


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