Cai Zheng Ren
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Artist Statement

In 1954, Cai was picked from several thousand applicants to study at the East China Opera Research Institute.

He started to learn the Young Male role under the masters Shen Chuanzhi, Zhou Chuanying and Yu Zhenfei.

The Notation and Breath Markings by Yu Sulu, father of Yu Zhenfei, is a guide in Cai’s practice and a reminder of how his teacher brought the characters to life.

Both in China and abroad, Cai has drawn fans, seeking autographs and eager to talk with him. A burgeoning number of young and educated audiences have put an end to the decline of Kunqu opera. Throughout his career as a Kunqu performer, Cai was regarded as a rigorous inheritor and an inspiring performer.

Quote from Mr. Cai:

“As a Kunqu opera actor of fifty years, I would like to summarize with two sentences: Kunqu is developing and it depends on all of us.”

“Kunqu opera was at a low ebb when I was enrolled. Those who mastered the art form were down to around twenty. I was honored to be among the first batch of actors of Kunqu opera after the founding of People’s Republic of China. We learned the opera and inherited the art. It seems that Kunqu wasn’t meant to die.”

Performance History with CAAC
2008Kun Qu Opera Performance