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date: 18 February 2020

Hua, Wen-yi locked

  • Megan E. Hill

Extract

(b Shanghai, China, Feb 21, 1941). Kunqu opera singer of Chinese birth. She was a member of the first class of Kunqu opera students at the Shanghai Opera School, which she entered in 1954. She graduated as the school’s top student in 1961, by which time she was already well known in China, Hong Kong, and Macao. She became a specialist in guimen dan, the refined female role-type. As a young actress she had earned the nickname “Little Mei Lan Fang” after the legendary male performer who had been the exemplar of the dan role. Today Hua has come to be regarded internationally as the premier model for Kunqu guimen dan.

She performed with the Shanghai Youth Beijing and Kunqu Troupe from 1961 until 1971. Due to the Chinese government’s censuring of traditional Chinese opera because of its links to China’s “feudalistic” history, during the Cultural Revolution (...

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