China's Peking Opera master Mei Baojiu dies aged 82

Mei Baojiu, son of Mei Lanfang, at an unveiling ceremony of Mei Lanfang's sculpture in Beijing, China, 23 November 2007 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mei Baojiu with a statue of his father, opera master Mei Lanfang

One of China's top opera stars, Mei Baojiu, has died at the age of 82, state media report.

Mei, who was hugely popular with Peking Opera fans, had been in hospital since late March, after having difficulty breathing, his theatre troupe said.

The opera master was famous for his role in classic operas such as Farewell My Concubine and The Drunken Beauty.

Mei was the son of Peking Opera great Mei Lanfang, who created a performance style known as the "Mei School".

Mei Lanfang, who was famous for his female roles, is credited with updating the tradition of men playing female characters.

Peking Opera, which combined speech, song, dance and combat movements, is a Chinese theatrical art dating back to the 18th Century.

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Media captionExploring China's old art of Peking Opera

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