Since June 2020, the National Museum of China(NMC) started its project of collecting old musical instruments of operas. Recently, it has great achievements: Mr. Liu Li, a senior researcher of Han Opera, donated 107 pieces (sets) of material objects of Han Opera to NMC.
Han Opera is a representative local drama in Hubei with more than 300 years of history. In the 55th year of the Qianlong Emperor's reign, Anhui Opera troupes went to Beijing, bringing Han Opera to North China and then giving birth to Beijing Opera. Han Opera is then praised as "the source of the national opera." It was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage in 2006. Mr. Liu Li comes from a well-known family engaged in Han Opera for several generations. Committed to collecting the materials of Han Opera for over 30 years, he is now a senior collector of Han Opera art. As an influential figure in this area, he has held several exhibitions of Han Opera culture nationwide in recent years and donated 306 pieces (sets) of material objects of Han Opera to Hubei Museum.
This donation has diverse materials, including musical instruments, film copies, costumes, discs, slides and books. The rare items among them are: Jinghu (a two-stringed bowed instrument with a high register) once used by Mr. Li Jinzhao, who is a famous stringed-instrument player and also the master of Liu Li; Jingerhu (a two-stringed musical instrument in Beijing opera) and Yueqin (a four-stringed plucked instrument with a full-moon-shaped soundbox) once used by Mr Wang Dingwen, former senior artist in Han Opera Troupe of Hubei; the copy of The Sword, the first Han Opera film starring the master Chen Bohua, a famous artist playing the female roles in Han Opera; the traditional theatrical costume embroidered with dragon and phoenix design once worn by the master Yin Chunbao, a famous artist playing the male roles in Han Opera and founder of Yin school, when he performed Picture of Two Kings; the costumes (including mandarin jackets, acrobatic fighting clothes and uniforms)of Silang Visiting His Mother, a classical play in Han Opera. This batch of objects for Han Opera is well preserved and invaluable, which could fully reflect the artistic characteristics and development history of Han Opera from different perspectives.
A film copy of The Sword of Han Opera made in 1954
Jinghu used by master Li Jinzhao