Lee Man Mao Opera Performer

Lee Man Mao (? - 1858), Heshan (Guangdong)Native, born in an Opera dynasty, learnt plays and traditional Opera from Childhood. Also good at the art of Attack and Defence, he was a famous secondary painted face role in Foshan Phoenix Troupe. He was good at such roles as Zhang Fei in Reed Catkin Bay and Wang Yanzhang in Wang Yanzhangs Boating. Unrestrained, Just and Fealess of Might, He won the respect from other Cantonese Opera artists.

In 1854, Fenghuangyi Cantonese Opera performer Lee Man Mao and Chen Kaihe, the leader of Guangdong Tiandi Assembly, rose up in Foshan and other places. The soldiers, wearing opera costumes and red muffle, were called “Red Muffle Army”. Li Wenmao led the Red Boat “Three Armies” (Wen Tiger, Meng Tiger and Fei Tiger) fighting in Guangdong and Guangxi, captured Xuzhou and Liuzhou and set up Dacheng State, and Li Wenmao was called “Pingjing King”. The risers issued coins and laws. The insurrection by Li Wenmao gave an important attack on Qing Dynasty, remarkable in Chinese history, especially the opera history.

Sources and copyright: Foshan Museum