If you want to enjoy the opera in Beijing, head to the Liyuan Theater (梨园剧场). Although a little bit touristic it is still a good place to experience the traditional spirit of the Beijing opera. Chinese opera is quite different from the European, and it provides a completely new experience compared with its European counterparts. Beijing Opera in Liyuan Theater offers diversity during just one show, so you will not just enjoy opera singing, but you will also get to see acting, acrobat performances, and martial artists. Actors are singing in high-pitched tones, which is one of the Beijing opera characteristics, accompanied by live orchestra. The costumes are quite extraordinary, colorful and full of details. Make-up and weapons are also very appealing. The only downside is a stage which is poor, without any props and equipment. Gray, carved wall in the background is not enough to recreate scenes from the opera stories.
Beijing Opera in Liyuan Theater has three separate stories. Roots of these stories are found in the Chinese tradition, and one of them is, of course, a love story. Fighting scenes are also performed, as martial arts are an important part of China history and tradition. During the performance, you will see English subtitles, so you will get the main idea what these stories are about.
If you come 30 minutes before the show you will get the insight how the participants prepare for the show, how they put makeup and dress multi-layered costumes. The most expensive tickets are for the front tables, with tea and snacks included. Theater hall is not too big, and the stage will be close enough even with the cheapest tickets.