HONG KONG - The passing of Cantonese opera legend Hung Sin Nui on Sunday surprised many, including her son Ma Dingsheng who recalled her unwavering passion for the traditional performing art form.
Mr Ma, a military commentator, spoke to the media on Monday at the singer's Guangzhou home, where a continuous stream of mourners turned up to pay their respects at an altar, Ming Pao Daily News reported. Elderly fans and opera students, some weeping and bearing flowers, were also seen on Monday queueing at a memorial held at a theatre in the star's namesake arts centre in Guangzhou.
The mourners, including leaders of opera troupes, bowed before the stage which held a giant portrait of the actress.
The actress, whose 60-year career included performances in nearly 100 operas and more than 90 films, died on Sunday night at the Guangdong Provincial People's Hospital of a heart attack, aged 88.
Known by her stage name Hung Sin Nui in Cantonese and Hong Xiannu (meaning Red Line Girl) in Mandarin, she was devoted to her calling to the end.
The star had intended to attend an opera performance for veteran opera artists that night, and was even teaching students last Saturday, revealed her disciple Kwok Fung Nui.
Mr Ma said he was not at her death bed as doctors were trying to save her life then.
He said his mother had been frail since she was 10, adding: "When she is on stage, people see only her artistic achievement and excellent performance. I see only an elderly and sickly woman."