One day during Spring Festival, we walked a short distance from the family home here in Anhai to watch some local opera. The stage is sort of in a back alley, with two levels of seating.

The story was pretty typical, I thought: A King, a Princess, a letter with bad news, a dagger, and so on.

I took some pictures of the stage action (plus some video I’ll try to process when I’m back in the States), but the most interesting action to me was in the audience. Mostly older folks, as you can tell from some of the photos, with a large group back in one corner playing all sorts of table games–really gambling for money, too, my Wife told me.

I opted not to take photos of the folks playing games, just in case they didn’t like it, not wanting to get my Mother-In-Law blacklisted from the tables in case she decides to play when she hits her 70’s or 80’s. But you can get a feel for the crowd in the foreground of these photos.