183 Beijing Operas - Yao Gang - Number 18
Beijing Opera - "One Sword Huang"
Yoa Gang with a flowered black-cross face stars in "One Sword Huang" adapted from an episode in Popular Romance of the Eastern Han, One-Sword Huang was a tyrant of Huangtu Ridge. When Yoa Gang, Yao Qi's son, was sent to the front for killing the emperor's tutor, he passes over this ridge and seeing the people there being mistreated, killed both the tyrant and his brother.
A dictum familiar to most Peking opera fans, "No Red for the Three Gangs," illustrates how colors represent human character. The three Gangs (Li Gang, Yao Gang, and Xue Gang) were bold and obstinate, but in Peking operas they are portrayed as solemn and serious, so no red is allowed in their facial make-up, not even on their lips, and no pink powder (which symbolizes humor) is applied to their cheeks. By contrast, in operas adapted from the Romance of the Yang Family the cheeks of the two characters Meng Liang and Jiao Zan are powdered pink because these two men are humorous by nature. In Hongyang Cave, however, the two no longer have pink cheeks, for this opera portrays them as old people whose temperaments have changed
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