From Opera singer to First Lady

From Opera singer to First Lady


Wednesday, 17th September 2014

Sheng Li Director, Sinhala Service China Radio International

 Peng Liyuan, China's First Lady is a popular Chinese folk music and opera singer. A native of Yuncheng County, Shandong Province, Peng was a finalist at the First National TV Chinese Vocal Contest and is best known for works including People From Our Village and On the Plains of Hope. Peng Liyuan was born on November 20, 1962. She was the first in China to obtain a Master's degree in traditional ethnic music when the degree was established in the 1980s.

Mrs Peng hailed from an ordinary family and the very opposite end of the Communist party to her princely husband, whose father was a vice-premier of China. Mrs Peng's father was a schoolmaster who was put in charge of the county's Culture Bureau. Her mother was 25 when she was born and a member of a small touring opera company.

"I was a born singer," Mrs Peng said on a visit to Singapore in the 1990s. By the age of five, she said, she could sing a complete folk song. "As a singer, I have won the highest honours in China. Actually I am like the panda: we are both national treasures," she added.

She had a golden gift to fall back on: her voice. She quickly learned to sing patriotic songs and, as a skinny 15-year-old teenager, she beat 10,000 other applicants for a place at her provincial art school. From there on her career progressed by leaps and bounds. First she was picked for the elite performance troupe of the local People's Liberation Army.

Then she attended the Conservatory of Music in Beijing. According to the state media, she was a "three points and one line" student.

In other words, the daily arc of her life only had three points on it - the music room, the canteen and the dorm. 

From :

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Please follow and like us: