Gong, who had been a household name for years in China, had his death reported by local media, but the cause of death was unclear. “I’m so upset. [Gong] represents our memory for two generations,” one person said on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging platform.
Last month, Beijing opera fans were shocked by the sudden passing of Chu Lanlan, a 40-year-old soprano who performed during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. An obituary released by Beijing Opera Arts College said that Chu, who taught at the institution, died of illness. Her family said they were saddened by her death, but did not elaborate on its cause, local media reported.