Popular singer-actor Zhang Yixing (Lay) plays one of the good guys in the romantic adventure The Mystic Nine. In a story within a story, he also performs as a righteous character on the stage of a Chinese opera house. You're not going to believe the incredible transformation that turns Lay into an a fabulous Chinese opera performer on stage. Take a look!

The ancient performance art of Chinese opera took over a thousand years to perfect its incredible mix of music, theater, and performance artistry. It requires extensive and demanding training from its performers, traditionally selected from childhood, to learn singing, acting, and martial arts. Every look, every step, and every slight movement of the hand, is highly stylized and scripted in minute detail. The compelling stories, often based on legendary historical events, seek to teach lessons of good versus evil, righteous heroes triumphing over enemies, and romantic lovers overcoming hardships.

The stylish make-up and dazzling costumes, in particular, distinguish Chinese operas as a visual and imaginative experience, aside from unique vocals, tightly woven plots, traditional music, and the emphasis on martial arts. Depending on the characters, the uniquely colored makeup and stylized designs highlight either their good or bad nature.



Can you recognize Zhang Yixing (Lay) as a beautiful lady in China opera?

In ancient times, female roles were performed by male actors because it was considered inappropriate for women to be on stage. Nowadays, roles can be performed by artists who are selected based on their talents and how best they suit a character. So, with that in mind, you might see a male role taken on by an actress. There was a time when Chinese opera singers attracted a huge following of fans, not unlike those who diligently track present-day celebrities. The most famous performer in 20th-century China was Mei Lanfang, whose legendary career spanned 50 years. He excelled in playing graceful female characters. He was also famous in his personal life, having married twice and fathering 11 children. His legacy remains in the form of the Mei School of performance style, and he was the first Chinese opera artist to visit and spread the impressive China opera to audiences in the West.

In The Mystic Nine, Zhang Yixing plays Er Yue Hong, an heir to one of the influential families in the drama. Although he has an extensive knowledge in archaeological artifacts, his hobby is singing and acting in Chinese operas. I highly recommend watching the scene, during the first episode, when his friend Zhang Qi Shan (William Chan) comes to the theater and interrupts a tense confrontation caused by a rude audience member.

Take a look at this short clip showing the laborious process of transforming Lay. The full session took 3 hours to complete.


In this trailer, you can catch a glimpse of Lay as a different Chinese opera character, a warrior in battle, as indicated by the flags worn on his back:


Isn't it amazing to see Lay in his Chinese opera costumes?

The Mystic Nine will instantly mesmerize you with its thrilling adventure and touching romances. It stars William Chan (Lost Love in Times), Zhang Yixing (Lay), and Zhao Liying (Princess Agent).

COMING SOON

The Mystic Nine - 老九门

Starring William Chan and Lay

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