Spirit of superhero endures on stage

Opera star Wu Lingyun is renowned for his longtime portrayal of icon Guan Yu

By Zhu Xingxin in Taiyuan and Chen Liang | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-12 09:25
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Wu (right) plays Guan Yu in a performance staged at the temple on April 22. ZHU XINGXIN/CHINA DAILY

In Chinese folklore, Guan Yu, a general from the late Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) also known as "Guan Gong" or "Guan Di", stands as a revered figure. The "God of War" is perceived as a superhero in the eyes of the Chinese people.

For over 40 years, Wu Lingyun, a Shanxi Opera (or jinju) performer and a renowned inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage, has played Guan on stage, further popularizing the art with his portrayals of the iconic figure.

As China celebrated Cultural and Natural Heritage Day on Saturday, Wu, who is also vice-president of the Jinju Art Research Institute in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, told China Daily that he is proud to be able to perform as the general.

"Guan Yu, renowned for his loyalty, righteousness, benevolence and valor, symbolizes the spirit of the Chinese nation and is beloved by people worldwide," he said.

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