Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Sue Fawn Chung

Number of Pages



During the Great Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) eight revolutionary model operas were popularized as a means of transformation the ideology and values of the Chinese people as well as a political tool in struggle between the Maoists and Luists. When Mao realized that his ideals were being eclipsed, he concluded that a massive revolution was inevitable and allowed his wife, Jiang Qing, to direct the "movement of popularizing model operas." The purpose of this study to analyze the operas and their political and social significance; During that decade eight revolutionary model operas were written based on wartime experiences or on economic and ideological class struggle. They all taught about the revolutionary heroism of the proletariat, the need to sacrifice for the Party's cause, the importance of class struggle and the continuing revolution, the ability of women to be leaders, and important value of Maoism. Leading writers and dramatists either suffered from their past "backward" performances or attained fame and power for their participation and support of the model operas. It was the first time that performing arts were used so extensive as a political tool. By 1976 almost 1 billion people were familiar with the "revolutionary model operas" and their messages.


China; Great Cultural Revolution; Eight; Historical; Model; Operas; Revolutionary Study

Controlled Subject


File Format


File Size

2201.6 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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