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Concert dedicated to Pekin Opera master Mei Baojiu

Reporter: Li Qiong 丨 CCTV.com

08-04-2016 00:16 BJT

It's been a hundred days since the Mei Shool Peking Opera master Mei Baojiu has passed away. On Tuesday, a Peking Opera concert was held in Beijing, presenting the audience with the most classic plays of the Mei School, as a way to memorize the last inheritor in the Mei family. 

A maestro and one of Pekin Opera's greatest voices. A voice now echoes in the memories

One hundred days after Mei Baojiu's death, his students and fans have gathered here at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in his memory. His entire life was dedicated to promoting Peking Opera traditions, and many believe Chinese theatre will be all the poorer from his loss.

Concert dedicated to Pekin Opera master Mei Baojiu

Concert dedicated to Pekin Opera master Mei Baojiu

On Tuesday evening, the theater of 1,500 seats welcomed a full house. These songs were once performed and introduced to the world by Mei Baojiu, and his father, Mei Lanfang.

The audiences did not hold back when they saw the canonical Peking Opera pieces and the famous Mei School apprentices.

"It's a great opportunity for Peking Opera fans to see so many Mei School inheritors perform on stage. I think it's a good way to remember Mr. Mei Baojiu," said audience Jiao Jie.

"I brought my granddaughter here to feel the the quintessential Chinese culture. I told her that the Mei School art is so great that it should be remembered and passed down," said audience Zhao Shuoxia.

Every time people mentioned Mei Baojiu, the name of his father would pop up - Mei Lanfang.

He was one of the most famous Peking-Opera artists in modern Chinese history, exclusively known for his female and young female roles such as the "Qingyi."

His exceptionally smooth and poised style gradually became known as Pekin Opera's "Mei School".

Born in 1934, Mei Baojiu was the ninth child of Mei Lanfang, and the only successor in the family.

Following in his father's footsteps, Mei Baojiu was unique among his peers for playing female roles.

He made his first stage appearance on his tenth birthday, and first shared the stage with his father at 18.

But his life is not just about being active on stage, but passing down the Mei school art style as well.

"I've been learning Peking Opera with my teacher Mei Baojiu for 15 years. He told me that playing female roles is not about man playing women to attract attention, but you need to truly understand these female characters with different personalities, from different times and backgrounds," said Mei Baojiu's apprentice Hu Wenge.

In his last interview with CCTVNEWS at the age of eighty, he told us promoting the traditional art form was still the most important thing for him.

In April of this year, the family's last torch-bearer of Pekin Opera's Mei School died at the age of 82. He had no children but left behind a legacy to be taken up by generations to come.

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