The couple dedicated to Sichuan Opera
2023-05-29 by Sichuan International Communication Center
At the opening ceremony of the 2023 National Opera (Northern Zone) Festival and Outstanding Bangzi Tonal Drama Showcase, a young couple stole the show with their seamless performance and exemplary skills, winning the hearty applause of the audience. They were Wang Zihao and Yin Lianlian, theaccomplishedactor and actressfrom the Sichuan Opera Troupe in Sichuan province.
United by their shared passion, the couple had already given many mesmerizing performances of Sichuan Opera to their fans. In "Fang pei", they narrated the tale of Pei Shunqing and Li Huiniang's emotional saga. In "Urging the Nephew to Take the Imperial Exam", they portrayed the moving love story between Pan Bizheng and Daoist nun Chen Miaochang. Their rendition of "Shi Huaiyu's Nightmare" depicted the unusual encounter of Shi Huaiyu and Hu Lianiang.
Influenced by his grandmother, Wang Zihao started studying Sichuan Opera at the age of 12 in Mianyang City's troupe. Today, Wang is a disciple of the Sichuan Opera artist and winner of China's "Plum Blossom Award", Xiao Demei, showcasing his refined and scholarly character in plays such as "Fang pei", "Picking Red Plums" and "Shi Huaiyu's Nightmare".
Yin Lianlian,born in 1998,started learning the art of Sichuan Opera at the Mianyang City Opera Troupe from the age of 10. Training was so painful that she even considered dropping out. "I cried every day," she recalled, "I would practice basic skills daily from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm."
In theater, the lead male and female roles are a match made in heaven, and this couple has jointly starred in numerous plays. Wang Zihao, discussing their joint performance in "Fang Pei," said, "With just a glance, I know what she's about to do next. Our rhythm, our breath synchronization are more unified than any other pair. So far, this has been our best collaboration." Even as they're fully immersed in the busy world of Sichuan opera, Wang Zihao remains optimistic: "There may be some shortcomings in our performance that peers might hesitate to point out, but as a married couple, we can help each other and grow together."
Yin helped Wang to improve his singing, while Wang helped Yin correct her postures. "Whether we're at work or at home, we discuss characters, scripts, and integrate our profession into our daily lives — that's our strength," Wang explained.
Talking about preserving Sichuan Opera, he said, "First of all, we must follow the rules, no simplifications, and strive for perfection." Today, Sichuan Opera is on the verge of being lost, and he hopes to preserve this cultural treasure through any means possible. "Each generation has half as many dramas to pass on as the last, the next generation will have even less. Only by constantly learning and accumulating can we call it inheritance."
As a young millennial born in the mid-90s, Yin Lianlian rooted her life on the stage, breathing life into her characters. In her everyday life, she, like her peers, loves to dress up and document her experiences. She also promotes the culture of Sichuan Opera in a hands-on way, sharing behind-the-scenes footage via short videos. "My social media is full of my performances, and I'm glad I have kept the habit of documenting them."
While the shared snippets are just a glimpse into the world of Sichuan Opera, both Wang and Yin hope to use short videos to attract interest, then introduce and popularize the culture of Sichuan Opera, with the ultimate aim of making more people fall in love with and support it.