(This post went through some major rewamping with longer and better quality videos and more detailed bios after posted first.)
→ 京剧 《赤壁之战·壮别》Zhuang Bie – a snippet from Chibi Zhi Zhan (Battle of Redcliff)
- Ye Shaolan (叶少兰) as Zhou Yu (周瑜), Shang Changrong (尚长荣) as Huang Ge (黄盖)
- Li Hongtu (李宏图) as Zhou Yu, Meng Guanglu (孟广禄) as Huang Ge
- Jin Xiquan (金喜全) as Zhou Yu
Ye Shaolan, wenwu xiaosheng, Beijing opera director was born in 1943 into a remarkable opera family: his father was Ye Shenglan (叶盛兰), his paternal uncle Ru Fulan (茹富兰), his grandfather Ye Chunshan (叶春善), founder of Fu Lian Cheng (富连成), China’s largest and longest-running Beijing opera school.
Barely at the age of 15 he was admitted to the National Chinese Opera Academy. After graduation in 1962, he pursued his studies in Kunqu under the guidance of Yu Zhenfei. In the 60s he entered the Central Academy of Drama for additional studies.
He got the Plum Blossom in its very first year, 1984. In 1988 at the China National Theater Festival his performance of Zhuang Bie, in cooperation with Li Changchun got a big response. He restored the art of Ye school with plays like Lü Bu and Diaochan《吕布与貂蝉》, Zhou Ren Offering his Sister-in-law 《周仁献嫂》and Liu Yin Ji《柳荫记》, performing and lecturing in the US, UK, France, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Egypt, Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Ye Shaolan holds many positions, like permanent council member of Chinese Dramatists Association, Fulbright international scholarship, director of Beijing Military Region Comrades-in-Arms Cultural Troupe, committee member of CPPCC, major general of Chinese People’s Liberation Army. In 1999 he got the United States Meihua Art Center’s award for lifelong achievements.
He has a flexible voice with implicit charm, pleasant to listen even for Westerners often freaked out by xiaosheng.
His wife, Xu Jiabao (许嘉宝), well-known Mei school actress of Beijing Military Region Comrades-in-Arms Cultural Troupe sadly died of illness in 2009.
Li Hongtu (李宏图), Ye school xiaosheng, officially a disciple of Ye Shaolan since 1993. He was admitted to the Hebei Academy of Art Beijing Opera division in 1976. After graduating in 1979, he entered The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. After finishing school in 1982, he was assigned to Beijing Experimental Peking Opera Troupe, later to Beijing Peking Opera Theater Fifth Troupe, in 1989 to Beijing Peking Opera Youth Troupe and finally in 1998 to Beijing Peking Opera Theater First Troupe.
In 1997 he studied in NACTA’s First Class of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers. In cooperation with the Guangdong Han Opera Theater he took part in a new Beijing-Han opera setup of a historical drama Butterfly Dream《蝴蝶梦》.
Li Hongtu is an award reaper, he scored Beijing Outstanding Young Actor Award in 1984, Beijing Young Chinese Opera Performers Award in 1988, Nationwide Youth Team Drama Award for outstanding joint performance in 1992, first prize in China Ministry of Culture’s National Competition of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers in 2000, Plum Blossom award in 2001 and more.
He has a clear, sonorous voice, handsome stage appearance, does both wen and wu, performs in a natural, elegant and stylish Ye school manner.
Jin Xiquan (金喜全), Ye school wenwu xiaosheng, national level first-class performer. Just like Li Hongtu, he was admitted to the Hebei Academy of Art in 1991 and continued his studies at The National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in 1998.
He also studied in the Fourth Class of Outstanding Young Jingju Performers (2004-2007), and got guidance from numerous teachers like Zhang Chunxiao and Ru Shaoquan during the years. Since he dedicated himself solely for xiaosheng role, he’s a disciple of Ye Shaolan.
He got the Shanghai Yulan Magnolia Award in 2007 for best performance in a leading role.
I couldn’t find when he was born but his wife, actress Xiong Mingxia is very young (born in 1976), so most likely he’s too.
Jin Xiquan has a very clear and high-pitched voice, also he’s very handsome and expressive on stage. I have to admit that gradually I’ve turned into his loyal fan.
Haoran zheng qi chong xiao han
(Courageous spirit soaring up high)