China Music Group



Peking Opera

Tan Xinpei

Tan Xinpei

Tan Xinpei (1847-1917), a famous Peking Opera master of the late Qing Dynasty period, was born into a theatrical family. His father, Tan Zhidao, was a renowned Peking Opera artist specializing in Laodan (role of old women). Breaking away from the old sonorous and powerful singing technique of Laosheng artists that were lacking in variety, Tan Xinpei developed a unique smooth, unaffected, rhythmic, and expressive singing style, which became known as the "Tan school." Tan Xinpei also drew on some singing techniques of Qingying (graceful female roles), Xiaosheng (young male roles), Hualian (painted-face roles), and Laodan as well as the singing techniques of other art genres like Hebei Bangzi Opera and Jingyun Dagu (story-telling in Beijing dialect with drum accompaniment) in his singing, greatly enriching the repertoire of Laosheng singing. Tan's outstanding Peking Opera performance skills won him an official title from the Qing imperial government. His son, Tan Xiaopei and grandson, Tan Fuying are also remowned Peiking opera artists.

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