The content of Huangmei Opera derives from the tunes traditionally sang during tea leaf picking, which were popular in Huangmei (in Hubei Province). It was then developed and enriched in Anqing City (in Anhui Province), adopting the Anqing dialect for use in its songs. It is one of the five major styles of opera in China.
Huangmei Opera is well known for being particularly expressive and has a rich lingering charm, melodious music and graceful movements. The dialogue is easy to understand, and is imbued with the realistic essence of routine life and the flavour of traditional folk songs. Therefore, it is very mellifluous and pleasing to the ears.
A great number of plays in the Huangmei Opera style have been performed and have achieved great popularity, including plays such as the Goddess’ Marriage, the Emperor’s Female Son-in-law, the Cower Herd and the Weaving Girl, the Couple Watching Lanterns, and Picking up the Green feed for the Pigs. Their themes and content are generally taken from folk legend and normal routine life.