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|Saturday, April 28, 2001, updated at 08:54(GMT+8)|
China Commemorates Master Performer of Peking OperaThe Ministry of Culture held a seminar Friday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ma Lianliang, China's master performer of old male characters in Peking Opera. Some 150 eminent artists were present in the Great Hall of the People.
Ma Lianliang began studying Peking Opera at the age of eight and started performing at 10. Organizing an opera troupe at 29, he became the leading role on the stage.
He absorbed the skills of Tan Xinpei, founder of the Tan School, and integrated fine elements of other master performers. He originated the Ma School that became famous in the 1920s and remained a brilliant performer up to the 1960s.
Ma spared no effort to improve his performance, which was elegant and classic in singing, dialogue and pantomime. His magnum opus including "Borrowing Easterly Winds," "Ganlu Temple," "Huai River Camp" and "Orphan of the Zhao Clan" are popular for Peking opera lovers.
Selected twice as one of the four greatest performers of old male characters, he promoted the development of Peking Opera by implementing reforms in scrip writing, music composition, speech presentation, costumes and props, and stage setting.
Peking Opera, which reached its full vigor during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in the old capital city, is the most conventional and traditional theatrical performing art in China. It combines music, singing, dialogue, pantomime, acrobatics and martial arts.
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