Born 1895 in Chekiang Province; died 1966 in Peking. Chinese actor and theatrical figure. Performer of Peking opera, a genre of Chinese traditional theater.
Chou began his stage career in 1902, conventionally cast as an elderly hero, or lao-sheng. His first successful roles were in The Gates of Wenchaokuan and The Fisherman’s Revenge. He also appeared in the dramatic theater. In the 1920’s and 1930’s he substantially broadened his repertoire, appearing in The Fifth Madame Chao, The Fresh-wind Arbor, The Hall of the Black Dragon, Four Officials, and Sung Chiao-jen.
Chou served in the patriotic movement against Japanese intervention and, after the formation of the People’s Republic of China, helped reform the traditional repertoire. He created his own school of acting, distinguished by highly refined vocal skills and the laconic use of expressive devices, based on traditional national technique.
In 1954, Chou became a deputy to the All-China National People’s Congress. He became director of the Shanghai Theater of Peking Musical Drama in 1955. He toured several countries, including the USSR in 1956.
REFERENCESChou Hsin-fang wut’ai ishu (The Stage Art of Chou Hsin-fang). Peking, 1961.
Serova, S. Pekinskaia muzykal’naia drama (ser. XIX-40-e gody XX v.). Moscow, 1970.