Lesson 08 Chinese Opera 脸谱

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Me wearing a Chinese 脸谱 during class

Beijing Opera is the quintessence of China. It is the largest Chinese opera form and has over 200 years of history.  Beijing Opera infuses four artistic methods: singing, dialogue, dancing, and martial art.  Lian pu “脸谱” is the facial painting through dramatic artists’ long-term practice and their understanding and judgment of the roles in plays.  The color of the lianpu represents different characteristics of different roles.

Red indicates devotion, courage bravery, uprightness and loyalty.

Black symbolizes roughness and fierceness. The black face indicates either a rough and bold character or an impartial and selfless personality.

Yellow signifies fierceness, ambition and cool-headedness.

Purple stands for uprightness, sophistication and cool-headedness).

Blue represents staunchness, fierceness and astuteness.

White suggests cattiness, suspiciousness and craftiness. Commonly seen on the stage is the white face for the powerful villain. It highlights all that is bad in human nature: cunning, craftiness, and treachery.

A green face tells the audience that the character is impulsive and violent and depicts surly stubbornness, impetuosity and a total lack of self-restraint.

This is a video with Chinese children dancing and celebrating the many different faces of Beijing Opera.  Click here to watch this video.

This is a video with children performing Beijing Opera.  Click here to watch this video.


In this lesson, the children created and designed their very own 脸谱. See the children working hard below.

Kaya working carefully on her 脸谱

Simone deep in thought









Simone, Ali, Quinn, and Jachin painting

Ava and Simone sharing ideas










Mila, Penny, Lucia, and Brooks smiling for the camera

Tessa, Alexia, Carlotta, and Annabelle painting and having fun










Lucia loves bold colors for her 脸谱

Jude painting his 脸谱










Jachin busy painting his 脸谱

Bodhi and Simon designing 脸谱










 Can you guess who it is?


Simone wearing her 脸谱


Kaya and Ananya in 脸谱


Alexia, Quinn, and Tessa wearing 脸谱


Bodhi and Simon wearing 脸谱

Quinn wearing 脸谱


Mila, Annabelle, and Jude in 脸谱


Brooks and Jachin wearing 脸谱


Ali wearing 脸谱


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