Xun Huisheng

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Xun Huisheng (Chinese: 荀慧生) (1900-1968) was one of the four famous dan (female characters) in Peking opera, along with Mei Lanfang (1894-1966), Shang Xiaoyun (1899-1976) and Cheng Yanqiu (1900-1968).

Xun was born on Jan. 5, 1900, to a poor family in Dongguan County, Hebei Province. He began learning the art at 8, then moved to Beijing studying under a famous performer, Hou Junshan, playing huadans (female characters). His career as a Peking opera performer officially started in 1918, when he joined the Xiqunshe troupe.

Xun rose to fame in 1919 when he performed with Yang Xiaolou and Tan Xiaopei. He spent the next seven years touring southern China and building his reputation. In his career, Xun also adapted more than 100 librettos, such as Chatoufeng, Zhuo Wenjun and Du Shiniang, and invented a new changqiang (singing) of female role by combining traits from local operas with Peking opera.

Xun Huisheng

Xun died on December 26, 1968.

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