Yueju Opera master dies aged 95
Wang Wenjuan [Photo/zjol.com.cn]
Famous Yueju Opera artist Wang Wenjuan passed away at the age of 95 in Shanghai on August 6.
Wang's distinctive vocal art influenced generations of opera performers. She was the founder of the "Wang school" of Yueja Opera and an inheritor of the national intangible cultural heritage Yueju Opera, an art form that originated in Shaoxing,
Wang was born in Shengzhou, Shaoxing, Zhejiang province in December 1926. She played various roles and is famous for her depiction of Lin Daiyu, or Sister Lin, from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) novel A Dream of Red Mansions.
In February 1958, the Shanghai Yueju Opera Theater premiered a new production, A Dream of the Red Mansions, which cast Wang as heroine Lin Daiyu.
In 1959, the production made its debut in Beijing for the 10th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Wang became a national star following this performance, which was watched and praised by the late Premier Zhou Enlai.
Speaking about the Beijing performance, Wang said in 2018 that "we were all young actors then and it was a very exciting moment in my career."
In 1962, the popular production was made into a movie that has since been watched a billion times in China.
Wang Wenjuan playing Lin Daiyu. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]