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A Maestro of Yue Opera:
Wang Wenjuan

16 May 2010

Yue Opera singer Wang Wenjuan (王文娟), one of the most beloved Chinese opera artists with a career extended for more than half a century, played the leading role in Meng Lijun. Her other memorable stage roles include Lin Daiyu (Black Jade) in the Dream of Red Chamber, Miss Fish in Chasing the Fish (追鱼), Miss Jade in Western Garden (西园记), Ms Emperor in Women Emperor Wu Zetian (则天皇帝).

Shortly after the deadly Sichuan earthquake in 2008, at age of 81, Wang Wenjuan returned to the stage at Shanghai Yifu Theatre (上海逸夫舞台), along with Baoyu's player Xu Yulan (徐玉兰), empress dowager's player Zhou Baokui (周宝奎) and many other great masters of Yue Opera, to participate in a joint performance to raise the funds for the quake victims.

Wang Wenjuan as Black Jade

Wang Wenjuan as Black Jade with her most trusted servant girl Purple Cuckoo, played by Meng Liying (孟莉英) who also played Ronglan (荣兰), Meng Lijun's servant girl.

Wang Wenjuan as Yang Kaihui (杨开慧), new China's founding father Mao Zedong's first wife, in Yueju Opera The Song of A Nobel Spirit (忠魂曲). Lady Yang was executed by the Nationalist Party, today's ruling party in Taiwan Province, for her refusal to denounce her husband. Her eldest son Mao Anying (毛岸英) was killed by Americans during the Korean War that was fought to defend China's right to peace and security.

Wang Wenjuan and her husband during the production of the film in 1996.

The opera Meng Lijun was made into film in 1996, directed by her husband Sun Daolin (孙道临), one of China's best performing artist in film industry. By then Wang Wenjuan was nearly 70-year old.

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