Shaoxing opera or Yue opera is a relatively new local Chinese opera popular in the southern regions of the Yangtze River. It originated in Shengxian County (present Shengzhou City), in the Shaoxing region of northeastern Zhejiang Province, which belonged to the Yue State in ancient times, so it was popularly known as Yueju . Yue opera has a history of about 800 years. It was derived from a kind of story-singing. At first, it was performed with a small drum and hardwood clappers for rhythm and later, choral and orchestral accompaniment was added. It drew some musical elements from Shao opera and subsequently formed its own characteristics.
Yue opera is noted for its lyricism, and singing is dominant in it. Its tunes are sweet and beautiful and the performance vivid and full of local color. Originally Yue opera was only performed by males and then changed to all female performances. After 1949, male and females work together. Notable actors include Yin Guifang, Zhu Shuizhao, Yuan Xuefen, Wang Wenjuan, Xu Yulan, Fan Ruijuan, Fu Quanxiang, Lu Jinhua, Jin Caifeng, Lv Ruiying, Zhang Yunxia, Zhang Guifeng, and Xu Tianhong.