Shanxi merchants, one of the most powerful and prominent merchant groups during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, contributed a lot to the development of opera in North China's Shanxi province. 

They invested in opera troupes and trained performers, established organizations for opera fans, explored opera reforms, and brought their own opera troupes when conducting trade outside the province. 

While spreading local opera culture, Shanxi merchants brought exotic opera art into Shanxi, promoting the development of local opera and leading to the creation of new dramas. 

Many local operas such as Taigu Yangko were developed due to the opera exchanges spearheaded by the merchants, making Shanxi home to one of the richest opera cultures in the nation.