The annual traditional opera festival takes place in Taipei at the start every summer. Photographers in Taipei often usually flock to the event however when I was there I seemed to be the only one this time. Chinese opera is an ancient art form that faces increasing competition from more modern forms of entertainment. The Taipei government aims to preserve the culture via the festival. Traditional Taiwanese opera is a local form of Han folk drama that was developed in Yilan, Taiwan in the late 19th century. A close cousin to the better-known Beijing Opera, it features folk stories and traditional myths usually performed in the Hoklo Taiwanese language that originated in Fujian, China. In Taiwan, it’s popularity peaked in the early 20th century and today struggles to interest the younger generations.
This has long been one of my favorite festivals to photograph and last year I put together a multimedia slideshow Koa-a-hi : Taiwan Song Drama. This year however I wasn’t able to spend as much time covering the festival as I’d have liked due to other assignments and commitments. The photographs in this post are all from a single performance and in the backstage area.