Kunju Excerpt Performance
The Plum Blossom Award Art Troupe will perform five Kunju Excerpt programmes on the night including "A Tryst" from The Peony Pavilion, "Lady Zhaojun Going beyond the Great Wall" from The Green Tomb, "A Patriot's Suicide" from The Peach Blossom Fan,"The Gift of a Sword" from Princess Baihua and Lv Bu Breaking in the Horse.
The performances of the Plum Blossom Award Art Troupe is jointly presented by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority and the Chinese Theatre Association
18 January 2014 (Saturday)
"A Tryst" from The Peony Pavilion
Cast: Shen Fengying (National First-class Performer and winner of the 23rd Plum Blossom Award), Yu Jiulin (National First-class Performer and winner of the 23rd Plum Blossom Award)
Dizi: Zou Jianliang
Jinghu: Xin Shilin
The Peony Pavilion is a tour de force of the Ming dramatist, Tang Xianzu (1550-1616). It tells of the love between Du Liniang and Liu Mengmei that transcends time. The excerpt performed on this occasion is taken from The Peony Pavilion – Youth Version, produced by Pai Hsien-Yung. It tells of how the wandering spirit of Du hears the invocation of Liu and appears to meet him, and her love yearning is fulfilled.
"Lady Zhaojun Going beyond the Great Wall" from The Green Tomb
Cast: Gu Haohao (National First-class Performer and winner of the 23rd Plum Blossom Award), Hou Zhe, Wang Junxin
Dizi: Liang Hongjun,
Drum: Wang Mingqiang
"A Patriot's Suicide" from The Peach Blossom Fan
Cast: Ke Jun (National First-class Performer and winner of the 22nd Plum Blossom Award), Li Hongliang (National First-class Performer and winner of the 25th Plum Blossom Award), Gu Jun
Dizi: Wang Jiannong
Drum: Lu Jiaqing
The Peach Blossom Fan is a well-known play among the Kunju repertory. The Ming Dynasty dramatist, Kong Shangren (1648-1718), weaves the love story between a scholar Hou Fangyu and the famous courtesan of Nanjing, Li Xiangjun, and the grander scheme about the demise of the Ming and Southern Ming dynasties, and comes up with a touching emotional landscape of romantic love, sacrifice, patriotism and human character. This excerpt narrates the last struggle of Shi Kefa (1601-1645), Minister of War of Ming, when Yangzhou is under the siege of the Manchu army of Qing. He crashes through the enemy’s siege singlehandedly, with the intention of going to Nanjing to guard the Emperor. On the way he meets an old official who is fleeing from Nanjing because this capital of Southern Ming has already fallen. When he learns the devastating news, Shi bids his last farewell to his old groom, and throws himself into the river as a declaration of his loyalty to the fallen regime.
"The Gift of a Sword" from Princess Baihua
Cast: Yang Fengyi (National First-class Performer and winner of the 12th Plum Blossom Award), Wang Zhenyi (National First-class Performer and winner of the 16th Plum Blossom Award), Bai Chunxiang
Dizi: Wei Lan
Drum: Li Yongsheng
This is taken from the chuanqi play of Ming, The Story of Baihua. It takes place in the Yuan Dynasty. Prince Anxi is planning a revolt, and the Imperial Court sends Haijun to find a way to get into Anxi’s residence to investigate incognito. Not knowing his real identity, Anxi takes to Haijun and appoints him to an important post. This arouses the jealousy of the chief attendant, Bala, who makes Haijun drunk and takes him to Princess Baihua's chamber. The plan is that the Princess will kill this intruder. But it so happens that the Princess’s lady-in-waiting is none other than Haijun’s long-lost sister, Jiang Huayou. She quickly covers up for him. When Princess Baihua sees the young man, she is attracted by his good looks. Instead of having him killed, she gives him her sword as a token of her love. Later, Baihua supports her father in his uprising, but because of Haijun’s prompt, the imperial army wins. Baihua commits suicide.
Lv Bu Breaking in the Horse
Cast: Lin Wei Lin (National First-class Performer and two-time winner of the Plum Blossom Award), Cheng Huihui
Drum: Wang Mingqiang
The story takes place during the Three Kingdoms period. Lv Bu, a young general famous for his valiant fighting skills, is given a fine steed that is said to be able to run for a thousand miles within a day. Happily he takes it to the open fields with his entourage to try to ride it. The steed, which is born defiant and refuses to succumb to orders, turns out to be very hard to tame. But Lu rises to the challenge, and by sheer horsemanship overcomes the animal and returns to the camp in triumph.
With Chinese and English subtitles
The Ensemble of the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre
$280 (Limited tickets avaiable), $200
Senior citizens, full-time students, people with disabilities and their accompanying minder, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients are entitled to a 50% discount
Audience members aged 3 and above are welcome