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Opera Stars Capture the Past on CD
Latest Updated by 2005-01-13 15:18:11

The renowned Peking Opera actor Yu Kuizhi and actress Li Shengsu have released separate albums with the China Audio and Video Publishing House.

Yu's album set includes 10 CDs featuring 85 arias while Li released six CDs of 55 arias.

One of the leading Peking Opera actors in China, Yu is specialized for singing laosheng, the role of old man. The 85 arias cover most of the trademark laosheng arias in 39 repertoires.

Li is one of the most well-known actresses learning from the Mei (Lanfang) School. The 55 arias she recorded for the albums are selected from 21 popular repertoires performed by the late Peking Opera artist Mei Lanfang.

The well-known actors Meng Guanglu, Yang Chi and young actress Guo Yaoyao are also featured in some arias.

The veteran jinghu player Zhao Jianhua accompanied most of the arias while the Peking Opera composer Zhang Yanpei served as the music director.

It is rare for a local opera singer to release records since Chinese local operas including Peking Opera is not so popular with the public of today.

Yu had the idea to do so in the summer 2002 after he participated in a Ministry of Culture's project to preserve the old art.

Peking Opera was popular in China in the end of 19th century and the first half of 20th century. Many then popular artists such as Mei Lanfang, Cheng Yanqiu, Xun Huisheng and Shang Xiaoyun left albums released at that time. However, it is a great pity that many records have been lost or some albums are scratched beyond use. Further more, today's fans could only hear some of the records without seeing the artists acting.

To compensate, the Ministry of Culture organized the artists and some young established performers such as Yu and Li to sing those broken or lost parts, or to act according to the old albums and make videos.

Yu and Li are also working on DVDs which will soon release by Hongyang Audio and Video Co Ltd.
Editor: Catherine

By: Source:China Daily Website
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