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Biography of Hu Zhi-feng, Peking Opera Master

Master Hu Zhi-feng was born in Shanghai, China in 1938. She began learning piano and ballet at a very early age. At age 10 she started learning Peking Opera and Kun Opera under the tutelage of a number of well known Peking Opera Masters such as Wei Lian-fang, Yang Wan-nong, Bao You-die, Wu Ji-lan, Xue Lan-fen, Yang Xiao-pei, Liu Jun-lin and Wang Fu-qing. Her Kun Opera Masters were Fang Chuan-yun, Zhu Chuan-ming. She specialized in learning distinguished Peking Opera roles such as that of Tsing Yi (virtuous lady), Hua Dan (young lady) and Dao Ma Dan (military lady). Later, she became the Teaching Assistant for Master Zhou Xing-fang and other Peking Opera Masters. She also apprenticed under a well known Master of the Mei Lan-fang Peking Opera division.

Master Hu graduated from the Shanghai Nanyang Model High School in 1956. The same year she entered Qinghua University to study Engineering Physics. She started her Peking Opera journey in 1959 and since then she has devoted her whole life to the inheritance and development of the Opera. In 1960 she was recruited as the Leading Actress of the Suzhou Peking Opera Troupe. Soon after and as a reward for her hard work, enthusiasm and very solid foundation she was given the assignment of Leader and Director of the Troupe. In that capacity she performed in and directed a number of famous plays such as "Li Hui Niang", "Princess Hundred Flowers" and "Legend of the White Snake". In 1981 she directed the movie version of "Li Hui Niang" which was awarded the "Best Movie Drama" award by the China Ministry of Culture.

Between 1985 and 1987, Master Hu furthered her studies in theory and techniques of performance at the China Art Research Institute of Theoretical. After graduation she continued working in the same school doing research and giving out lectures. At the same time she worked as opera director.

Master Hu is the author of 5 books: "Sailing At The Arts Sea", "Hu Zhi-feng On The Arts", "Creation Of Opera Actor's Role and Theory", "Creation of Opera Arts" and "The Law of Artistic Creation of Opera Stage Art". She has also presided over the writing and rehearsal of a number of old pieces to screenplays, performed and directed them.

Because of her wide knowledge and practical experience, she has been appointed numerous times to conduct training and lectures in many top universities in China. She has also been invited to give lectures to a number of universities in different countries around the world such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Denmark.

Currently Master Hu is the Researcher of the Chinese Arts Research Institute, a Master Degree Program Mentor, a National 1st Class Performer, President of The Chinese Opera Performance Institute and a Member of the Chinese Theatre Association. She has been granted Special Allowances by the Country and has been a Member of the 8th, 9th and 10th CPPCC National Committee. She is a designated Director for a number of different Opera Troupes in China. Under her superb guidance and supervision, more than 10 artists have been awarded the prestigious "Plum Blossom Price", a very high standard award for excellence at the National level. She is a very honourable artist with a complete understanding of the true meaning of her art.

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