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Mei Lanfang Memorial

Updated:2008-06-06 10:27 | Source:

  Mei Lanfang Memorial is one of the historic

  sites under the protection by Beijing Municipal

  Administration of Cultural Heritage. Located in No.

  9 Huguosi Street, Xicheng District, it is easily

  accessible. It used to be the residence of Mei

  Lanfang. After Mei died, his wife Fu Zhifang and his

  sons and daughters donated to the state his large

  collection of materials and literature about Chinese

  operas. In 1984 preparations started to be made for

  setting up the memorial, which was officially open

  to the public in Oct. 1986.

  Mei Lanfang (1898-1961), whose hometown was in

  Taizhou, Jiangsu Province, was a renowned Peking

  opera actor, the head of the four top players of

  female roles. He started his training as an actor at

  the age of eight, and at eleven he made his debut.

  Over the years he created a school of his own called

  the Mei school, which is known as one of the three

  major schools of opera acting in the world. When

  Beijing fell to Japanese invaders, he grew a

  moustache (actors playing female roles cannot have

  moustaches) to show that he would never act under

  the rule of the puppet government. After the People

  ’s Republic was founded, he held such posts as

  president of the National Peking Opera Theatre,

  president of the Institute for Research of Chinese

  Operas, deputy chairman of the National Association

  of Literature and Arts, permanent member the Chinese

  People’s World Peace Protection Committee, member

  of the standing committee of the National People’s

  Congress, and permanent member of the Chinese

  People's Political Consultative Committee.

  The memorial, a typical Quadrangle Dwelling, covers

  an area of over 1,000 square meters. Above the red-

  lacquered gate is a plaque inscribed with the words

  Mei Lanfang Memorial written by Deng Xiaoping.

  Facing the gate, just in front of a large grey

  screen wall, stands a bust of Mei Lanfang. Before

  the small screen wall inside the screen door are

  four stone stools carved with flower patterns and a

  granite pool. The houses in the east, west, and

  north have corridors supported by red-lacquered

  round pillars; the eaves of the corridors are

  painted with brightly colored patterns. In the

  courtyard grow two persimmon trees and two crabapple

  trees, symbols of peace. It was in this secluded,

  comfortable little courtyard that Mei Lanfang spent

  his last ten years.

  The memorial has two parts. One part¨Cthe

  courtyard, the living room, the study, and the

  bedroom¨Cis furnished the same way as it was before

  Mei died. The other part consists of three

  exhibition halls outside the courtyard. One of them

  displays a number of pictures and photos of Mei’s

  life as an artist and social activist. The other two

  halls house exhibitions with regularly changed

  themes. Since its opening, the memorial hall has

  become a window to the culture of Chinese operas,

  Mei’s artistic achievements, and traditional

  Chinese culture.

  Address: No. 9 Huguosi Street, Xicheng District,



Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics