The Performer

During the 2009 Yue Girl competition, a nationally televised singing competition similar to Britains Got Talent, one of the judges was forced to resign. Bai Yanshen, the founder of Chinese Opera TV programming, had criticised one of the young performers and the army of supporters following her unleased their  displeasure across social media networks and bombarded him with personal text messages and emails demanding an apology. The support was not just for the performer but for the style of singing in which she performed. The performer was WANG Rousang a Xiaosheng (male role) performer who sang in the ‘Fan-Style’ .

Rousang was trained from her early years in Yue Opera and became a personal student of Fan Ruijuan (1924 – 2017) – one of the original ‘Ten Sisters’ who had performed the 1948 ‘Love of the Mountains and Rivers’ show, raising money for a new Yue Opera theatre independent from the exploitation of a male dominated Shanghai entertainment circuit. Fan had developed her own singing style for the Xiaosheng role which has since been trained and copied as a singing style by her close students. The support for Rousang was not just for her individually, but for the actual Fan style of singing which was so popular amongst the viewers and against which the audience thought Bai had been unfair.

Rousang has been a key performer with Shanghai Yue Opera House for a number of years and has recently (2020) been promoted to a ‘Grade A’ performer, the highest level of performance training at the company, with nationally held recognition. She has been involved in a number of new innovative projects over recent years, whilst still performing and perfecting roles in more traditional Yue Operas.  Rousang allowed us to conduct a personal interview with her in November 2020, which is incorporated in the video ‘Story of Shanghai Yue Opera with Wang Rousang’ currently hosted on the Leeds Industrial Museum Exhibition.

We are honoured that Shanghai Yue Opera House have allowed Rousang to perform this newly developed work ‘Song of the Female Textile Workers’, a one-actor show in which she will test her performance skills, through both traditional singing and dance, along with her interactions with digital animations. Whilst Rousang is a national star in China, here in the UK Shanghai All-Female Yue Opera is relatively unknown and unheard. However, there is no mistaking ability in most types of performance and the links below will provide a taste of Rousang’s vocal quality through her most recent (2020) performance.

WANG Rousang : Farewell Parting  (2020).

WANG Rousang : To The Wine (2020).