Zeng Xiaomin, a leading diva of contemporary Cantonese Opera

Zeng Xiaomin (L)

On Dec. 11, Cantonese Opera fans at home and abroad once again gathered at Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute to enjoy the classic Cantonese Opera ‘Madam White Snake – The Affection’ starring Zeng Xiaomin.

The opera, based on a Chinese legend ‘Madame White Snake’, integrates traditional culture with new fashion, and presents a both humanistic and aesthetic story with modern performance stages, dazzling lights and beautiful animations on LED screens. As the heroine in this opera, Zeng Xiaomin’s superb performances earned rounds of thunderous applauses.

To found her own school with ‘real kung fu’ 

Cantonese Opera diva Zeng Xiaomin enjoys a high reputation in China. She is the Party Secretary, Vice President and diva of Guangdong Cantonese Opera Institute. She is also a winner of Chinese Drama Plum Blossom Award, China’s top award for drama. She has been deeply engrossed in Cantonese Opera performing art and played numerous classic roles over the years, expert at all kinds of Dan roles, leading roles in Cantonese Opera.

Luo Li, research director of Guangzhou Literature and Art Research Institute, said Zeng Xiaomin is extremely hardworking, dedicated and persistent; she is also a fast learner who practices all the time after class.

Many art critics agree that Zeng’s performing art is traditional and original with distinctive personal style, which has formed her own school in principle.

Versatile and distinctive

With solid basic skill and heartfelt passion for performing, Zeng is competent at diverse roles and has portrayed a variety of classic characters. Her performances are not only favored by the older generation, but also popular among the younger fans.

Professor Wu Guoqin of Sun Yat-Sen University was deeply impressed by Zeng Xiaomin’s performance in Cantonese Opera ‘Madam White Snake’ in the early 1960s. Back then, Zeng played three main characters in the play and presented each act with professional proficiency.

Gong Hede, vice chairman of Chinese Opera Society, commented that Zeng Xiaomin has accumulated a number of performing skills, and is able to cope with singing and acting as well as acrobatic fighting successfully.

Guan Qing, renowned Cantonese Opera performing artist and national first-class performer, said that Zeng Xiaomin is always the most earnest in rehearsal and the most hardworking in basic training.

A leading figure of contemporary Cantonese Opera 

Zeng Xiaomin has been striving for excellence in Cantonese Opera performing art sedulously. In an article she writes, “It’s hard to keep level-headed all the time, but with perseverance and endeavor, I will keep moving.”

Many artists in China believed that Zeng Xiaomin is an accomplished artist who pursues both professional excellence and moral integrity and keeps improving her performing art; she has been a leading figure of contemporary Cantonese Opera, a role for younger counterparts.

“It is important to have a number of leading artists for the innovation development of Chinese outstanding traditional culture,” said Shen Haixiong, a member of the standing committee of the CPC Guangdong Provincial Committee and Head of Guangdong Provincial Publicity Department.

Shen encouraged Zeng to continue her efforts for the innovation and development of Cantonese Opera as well as Guangdong’s literature and art.

Shen added that more artists and cultural creations are needed for realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Shen encouraged the artists to focus on the real life during their cultural creation work. He also called on the society to make good circumstances for the cultural creation.

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