Pear Garden

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The Pear Garden or Líyuán (simplified Chinese: 梨园; traditional Chinese: 梨園) was the first known royal acting and musical academy in China founded during the Tang dynasty by Emperor Xuanzong (712–755).[1] It is an example of an historically early institutional academy of music.

The 8th-century Chinese Emperor Xuanzong (also named Ming Huang) established schools in the palace city Chang'an (now Xi'an) for music, dancing, and acting. 300 musicians and performers were trained annually under the supervision of the emperor, who sometimes joined in the training as well as the performances.[1] The Tang dynasty (June 18, 618–June 4, 907) is sometimes known as "The Age of 1000 Entertainments". During this era, Ming Huang formed an acting school known as the Pear Garden to produce a form of drama that was primarily musical, although this suffered from the vicissitudes of the An Lushan Rebellion. Because the school has pear trees planted inside, thus the name of "pear garden".

Actors are commonly called "Children of the Pear Garden", and in later dynasties the phrase "Pear Garden" was used to refer to the world of Chinese opera in general.

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  1. ^ a b Tan Ye (2008). Historical Dictionary of Chinese Theater. Scarecrow Press. p. 223. ISBN 978-0810855144. 

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