The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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The Tibetan Opera -LanSha WenPo
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After their marriage, Chaba begins to love Langsha. Chaba has an elder sister Ah Ni who, although a nun, still runs and manages the household. She sows dissension between Langsha and her husband and father-in-law and forced her to do back-night and often prodding the old man to beat her.
Chaba loves his wife deeply and is extremely angry at the cruelty his sister and father display. Ignoring his family rules, he goes to see his parents-in-law and is punished by his father for this. Langsha is moved by his action and gradually comes to love this son of a serf-owner.
A baby boy is born to them.
Ah Ni is terribly worried at the birth of Langsha's son and therefore treats her even more cruelly. The hardships of Langsha's life force her finally to flee to her own home. Chaxin and Ah Ni come chasing after her, wanting to burn her to death. Suddenly, Langsha turns into a goddess and flies up to Heaven amidst flames. The fire burns Chaxin and Ah Ni to death and the people, freed from evil, rejoice.
It dates back to the 8th century and falls into four categories: Buddhist stories, stories of historical personalities in Tibet, folk stories and stories of human relations with Langsha Wenpo as this last's most representative work. Many Tibetan operas describe the desires of the local people to win freedom and a bright future.
The best season of the year for seeing Tibetan operas is from the end of June to the beginning of July (according to the Tibetan calendar), during a festival which lasts for 10 days. Usually, performers from all corners of Tibet come to Lhasa and perform in Norbu-Linka, meaning the "Jewel Park".
In the past when the operas were performed for the when the operas were performed for the Dalai Lama, the female role was taken by male actors because Buddhist tradition has it that a female is considered inauspicious and it was deemed wrong for Dalai Lama to see one.
Now during such festivals, the citizens and herdsmen from Lhasa all dress up, and taking snacks and drinks along with them, go to the park to appreciate the operas. Sometimes the same opera is repeated several days running.
The Opera Troupe of the Tibetan Autonomous Region was set up in 1960. Folk artists who used to wander from place to place were accepted into the troupe to teach the young artists, and the new-style Tibetan opera has been developed on the basis of the old tradition.