The late Patric Standford may have written these short pieces deliberately to provoke our feedback. If so, his success is reflected in the rich range of readers' comments appearing at the foot of most of the pages.
Beijing opera artist Mei Baojiu was born in Shanghai on 29 March 1934. His father, Mei Lanfang, a famous Beijing Opera artist, encouraged Mei Baojiu to study his craft from an early age, and he learned with many different artists.
He became the leader of the Mei Lanfang Beijing Opera Troupe in 1961, following the death of his father, trained many students and also made significant contributions to cultural exchange and the promotion of Beijing opera.
In common with his father, Mei Baojiu took the Dan role in many classic Beijing operas, including Farewell My Concubine, Guifei Intoxicated (which he adapted to become The Great Concubine of Tang) and Mu Guiying Takes Command.
Mei Baojiu died on 25 April 2016, aged eighty-two.