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Octogenarian stars perform in snow-relief show
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Eighty-nine-year-old Peking opera master Wang Jinlu performs at a charity show in Beijing, a fundraiser for snow-stricken people in southern China, on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

Three retired octogenarian Peking opera stars returned to the stage for a charity show at Mei Lanfang Grand Theater in Beijing on Tuesday, raising 550,000 yuan (US$76,450) for China's snow-stricken areas.

Eighty-nine-year-old Wang Jinlu, Li Huifang, 85, and Jing Rongqing, 83, played opera excerpts, winning applause from the audience.

Forty other Peking opera stars mainly from the National Peking Opera Theater also performed.

Philanthropist Li Chunping donated 300,000 yuan (US$41,700) at the theater and well-known calligrapher Ouyang Zhongshi donated one of his works to be auctioned at a later date.

Some actors and actresses from National Peking Opera Theater who were absent also donated generously.

All the income from the charity show will be donated directly to the weather-stricken areas through the Ministry of Culture.

People from all circles of Chinese society had donated a total of 1.16 billion yuan to the areas stricken by snow and rain havoc by Sunday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
(Xinhua News Agency February 13, 2008)

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