Counter booking for Chinese Opera Festival 2018 to open on April 18


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      Counter booking for the Chinese Opera Festival 2018, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), will open on April 18 (Wednesday). The Festival will be held from June to August.

     Opening the Festival this year is the Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe's full-version performance of "The Palace of Eternal Life", with an all-star cast led by prestigious kunqu artist of national treasure standing Cai Zhengren and supported by actors and actresses from different generations.
 
     In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the death of maestro Cheng Yanqiu, one of the top four artists in the "dan" (female) role in Peking opera and the founder of the Cheng school, three full-length operas, namely "Consort Mei", "The Unicorn Pouch" and "Anecdotes of Empress Wu Zetian" will be performed by the Second Troupe of the China National Peking Opera Company with winner of Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre cum a representative of Cheng school, Li Haiyan as the lead. Li will exemplify the elegant style of the Cheng school.
 
     This year, the Festival will again feature various regional genres.

Xinchang Diaoqiang Heritage Protection and Development Centre of Zhejiang will return with the classic piece "The Battle at Jiujiang", the comedy "The Old Water-carrier" and five excerpts. There will also be performances by Pingdiao Art Heritage Centre of Ninghai. Audiences will be introduced to the rarely performed "shuaya" (tusk stunt), an incredible stage skill on par with "bian lian" (face-changing).

In addition, Fujian Puxian Theatre, the only major state-owned troupe at city level in Putian, will perform "The Imperial Scholar and the Beggar", "Thrice Begging Fan Lihua" and excerpts from classic repertoire. Puxian opera has preserved the traits of southern opera of the Song and Yuan dynasties.
 
     The Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe of Shaoxing will bring the dignified "Qu Yuan", the gripping "How a Dead Cat was Substituted for a New-born Prince", the singing- and action-packed "The Lady General Mu Guiying Leads Her Army to War", and the classic comedy "Three Glimpses of the Princess". National Class One Performer and two-time winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre Wu Fenghua will be joined by Wu Suying (Lu school), Chen Fei (Fu school) and Zhang Lin (Yin school) in these full-length operas to bring a feast for the eyes and ears.
 
     Lu Weiping, a Representative Bearer of Xiqin Opera as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage, will lead the Haifeng County Xiqin Opera Heritage Centre in performing excerpts from Xiqin opera, followed by performances by noted local Cantonese opera artists including Law Ka-ying, Wan Fai-yin and Cheng Wing-mui.

In a separate programme, they will perform the Xiqin opera work "Executing Own Son at the Gate" and the Cantonese opera work "Liulang Executing His Son" that depict the same event from the stories of the generals of the Yang family and show the interesting linkage between the two genres.
 
     With renowned actor Yuen Siu-fai as the playwright and the lead, the Cantonese opera work "The Return of Lady Wenji" will feature veterans Chan Ho-kau and Yau Sing-po as well as renowned artists including Lee Lung, Chan Wing-yee and Lai Yiu-wai.
 
     Details of the performances are as follows:
 
Opening Programme: Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe "The Palace of Eternal Life"
June 14 to 17       Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
 
Xinchang Diaoqiang Heritage Protection and Development Centre of Zhejiang and Pingdiao Art Heritage Centre of Ninghai
June 22 to 24        Auditorium, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing
 
Fujian Puxian Theatre
June 29 to July 1   Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall
 
Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe of Shaoxing
July 19 to 21       Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
July 22             Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
 
A Tale of Two Genres - Xiqin Opera and Traditional Cantonese Opera
August 3 to 5       Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
 
Cantonese Opera "The Return of Lady Wenji"
August 7 to 8       Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
August 12           Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
 
Second Troupe of the China National Peking Opera Company - A Showcase of Cheng School Classics
August 10 to 12     Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
 
     Apart from the above, the Festival will also hold a variety of extension activities including lectures, film screenings, artists' talks and exhibitions to boost appreciation of Chinese opera from different angles. To mark the 60th anniversary of the debut of the Yue opera work "The Dream of the Red Chamber", the Shanghai Yue Opera Group will present the special programmes "Guided Appreciation on The Red Chamber" and "The Red Chamber - Theatre of the Voice of Yue Opera" to draw audiences into the world of "The Dream of the Red Chamber" to feel the enduring charm of this masterpiece.
 
     Tickets for all performances will be available from April 18 onwards at URBTIX (http://www.urbtix.hk" target="_blank">www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999.

For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7325 or visit http://www.cof.gov.hk" target="_blank">www.cof.gov.hk.
 
     Since its inception in 2010, the Chinese Opera Festival has focused on bringing performances of diverse regional genres noted for their distinct charm to the local audience.



Published on: 2018-04-16

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