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Hunagmei opera singer Wu Qiong decodes heart of legendary actress

08-22-2011 13:57 BJT

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Huangmei opera is a major Chinese local opera popular in Anhui province, and dates back some 200 years. Originally known as "Huangmei Melody" or "Tea-Picking Opera", the form evolved from Huangmei tea-picking folk songs and dances. Opera singer, Wu Qiong(吴琼) has put the genre back under the national spotlight by transforming into "Yan Fengying"(严凤英), and today, we want to tell you more about this extraordinary person.

"Huangmei Opera brings me success and happiness as well as difficulty and frustration. It is like my lover; if I get too close, I wrangle with him. But if I left him, I would miss him so much."

This is an internal monologue by Wu Qiong, a prominent artist so enthralled by Huangmei opera that she has, for decades, championed the traditional art form.

From her teenage years, portraying the life stories of the legendary Huangmei opera artist Yan Fengying remains a long-sustained dream of Wu Qiong.

Huangmei opera is a major Chinese local opera popular in Anhui province, and
dates back some 200 years. Originally known as "Huangmei Melody" or "Tea-Picking
Opera", the form evolved from Huangmei tea-picking folk songs and dances. Opera
singer, Wu Qiong(吴琼) has put the genre back under the national spotlight
by transforming into "Yan Fengying"

"Some artists are trained, while others are born to be artists. Yan Fengying is endowed with the gift of singing and performing, so she easily outperformed others even without introductory training. Her performance follows a natural and simple style which won the favor of so many opera fans. These all made Yan a definitive figure in the art of Huangmei Opera."

Yan Fengying is a towering figure in the development of Huangmei Opera. Her contribution to the local theatre genre is unparalleled. Born in 1930 and in her short life of 38 years, Yan forged a unique performing style. She created many popular roles, which helped local operatic type to step onto the national stage.

Huangmei opera is a major Chinese local opera popular in Anhui
province, and dates back some 200 years. Originally known as
"Huangmei Melody" or "Tea-Picking Opera", the form evolved
from Huangmei tea-picking folk songs and dances. Opera
singer, Wu Qiong(吴琼) has put the genre back under the
national spotlight by transforming into "Yan Fengying"

Today, for Wu Qiong, interpreting the legendary actress on stage is not only a way to pay tribute, but is more about a woman's understanding and retrospective of another woman.

"Starring as Yan Fengying at my age is quite different from other ages. If an actress stars as Yan at 20, maybe she is driven by curiosity or vanity; At the age of 30, maybe she is driven by a sense of artistic pursuit; At my age, starring Yan makes me able to communicate with the soul of a Huangmei Opera master. I don't think that the significance of starring as Yan can be concluded only as realizing my dream; what's more revealing is my interpretation of the ups and downs of the master's story."


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