Li Yugang, the 2006 winner of Star Boulevard (Xingguang Dadao), CCTV 3's popular talent show, has bade farewell to life as a freelance by joining the China Opera and Ballet Company.
The 28-year-old from northeastern China's Jilin province gained instant success for his effeminate style of singing and acting.
Influenced by his mother who is an errenzhuan actress, Li loved singing and acting as a boy but never received any formal training. He kept teaching himself and learning from TV shows. After performing at pubs and bars in Changchun and Xi'an, his talent impressed Ma Hongcai, a Xi'an-based Peking Opera actor who performs female roles. Ma taught him to perform the female roles of Peking Opera.
In 2006, Li applied to be on Star Boulevardand his victory in its grand final made him a national star overnight. He has since become a highly sought-after performer.
He will from now on take part in the China Opera and Ballet Company's new productions as well as organizing his own shows.
(China Daily March 11, 2009)