A Storm in a Teacup: On the Necessity/Difficulty of Establishing a National Taiwanese Opera Troupe in Taiwan

  • Shin-yi LeeEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11589)


In 1999–2000 and 2007, the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, respectively proposed to establish a national Taiwanese opera troupe in the hope of preserving this local art. A national troupe means that the government shows its will to preserve the art, and officially recognizes Taiwanese opera as a “national art.” Yet, to our greater surprise, many professionals and artists disagreed on this proposal, for they believed once a national opera troupe was established, the domestic troupes may face the crisis of survival. Competing with a national troupe with more financial and technical support from the government, local and non-governmental troupes by all means would find it hard to survive. In other words, a national Taiwanese opera troupe could be a threat to the existence of the art itself. How would a cultural policy with good intentions turn out to be a controversy and causing conflicts among all? This situation will be explored in this paper: firstly, the government’s role will be discussed when it comes to the development of Taiwanese opera. Then, the current condition of the local Taiwanese opera performing industry will be introduced and the relevant cultural policies will also be discussed. The last part will focus on the controversy over the necessity of establishing a national traditional troupe, and the significance of having a national troupe in Taiwan. The aim is to examine the role of the government and discuss the necessity of the political actions when it comes to preserving the local arts.


Taiwanese opera Government Cultural policies Theatrical company management 


  1. 1.
    Ciou, K.L.: Just Can’t be Able to Establish a National Taiwanese Opera Troupe, ( 〈國家級歌仔戲劇團千呼萬喚出不來〉). The Storm Media. Accessed 11 Feb 2019
  2. 2.
    Ciou, K.L.: The Beautiful Sorrow: Lan-Yang Taiwanese Opera Company (〈美麗的哀 愁 一生懸命蘭陽戲劇團〉). The Storm Media. Accessed 10 Feb 2019
  3. 3.
    Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R. O. C. (Taiwan). Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  4. 4.
    Jie, Y.: Guozuzhuyi dao wenhuagongmin: Taiwan wenhua zhengce chutan, 2004–2005 (From Nationalism to Cultural Citizenship: A Study on Cultural Policies in Taiwan, 2004–2005; 《國族主義到文化公民: 台灣文化政策初探2004–2005》). Council of Cultural Affairs, Executive Yuan, Taipei (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lin, H.Y.: A History of the Taiwanese Theatre (《臺灣戲劇史》), 2nd edn. National Taiwan University Press, Taipei (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ministry of Culture. Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  7. 7.
    Mo, G.H.: Taiwan geleixing difang xiqu (All Types of Local Operatic Forms in Taiwan; 《臺灣各類型地方戲曲》), pp. 87–113. SMC Publishing, New Taipei City (1999)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    National Awards of Art. Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  9. 9.
    National Center for Traditional Arts. Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  10. 10.
    National Center for Traditional Arts. The 2017 Observation and Analysis Project on Traditional Performing Art Industries in Taiwan (106年臺灣傳統表演藝術生態觀察與分析計畫). Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  11. 11.
    National Center for Traditional Arts. The 2016 Observation and Analysis Project on Traditional Performing Art Industries in Taiwan (105年臺灣傳統表演藝術生態觀察與分析計畫). Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  12. 12.
    National Repository of Cultural Heritage. Accessed 12 Feb 2019
  13. 13.
    Su, G.Z.: Guojia zhengce xia jingju gezixi zhi fazhan (The Development of Peking Opera and Taiwanese Opera under National Cultural Policies; 《國家政策下京劇歌仔戲之發展》). The Liberal Arts Press, Taipei (2003)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Tseng, Y.Y.: Taiwan gezixi de fazhan yu bianqian (The Development and Change of Taiwanese Opera; 《台灣歌仔戲的發展與變遷》). Linking Publishing, Taipei (2007)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Workshop for Taiwanese Folk Culture (台灣民俗文化工作室). Accessed 11 Dec 2019
  16. 16.
    Xu, Y.X.: Shishi yu quanshi: rizhi shiqi Taiwan baokan xiqu ziliao xuandu (History and Interpretation: Reports and Materials on Taiwanese Opera During the Japanese Occupation Era; 《史實與詮釋:日治時期台灣報刊戲曲資料選讀》), pp. 34, 67, 88. National Center for Traditional Arts, Yilan (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.China Medical UniversityTaichungTaiwan

Personalised recommendations