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Huangmei Opera

Updated: 2014-12-02 10:13:14

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In the story, theJade Emperorof Heaven's seventh and youngest daughter, "Seventh Fairy Maiden," who was also the most beautiful, boldly flees down to earth in search of a love of her own choosing. She marries Dong Yong, an honest, kind-hearted serf, in defiance of her father. Persuading the cruel landlord to shorten Dong Yong's three-year lease to 100 days, the young couple prepare to leave and set up their home. However, theJadeEmperor snatches his daughter back to heaven, breaking up the happy romance. Pregnant and indignant, she writes a letter in her own blood to Dong, which says: "When next spring comes and the flowers bloom, your son shall be yours beneath the scholar trees."

The moving plot, beautiful music and top-notch singing have made the play a household favorite. Filmed in 1956, when there were very few operatic films, the piece enjoyed 150,000 domestic showings and has traveled to more than a dozen places abroad. Its success is owed much to the work of such renowned performers as Yan Fengying, a country girl from Luojialing in Tongcheng County, Anhui Province. As versatile performer who played a variety of roles, Yan died young, which was a great loss to the profession. Anqing city has erected a statue of Yan Fengying as the "Seventh Fairy Maiden" in a park to commemorate her great contributions.

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