The Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District: Rising Stars in Cantonese Opera Showcase

Nurturing new talent is fundamental to the development of the future Xiqu Centre of the West Kowloon Cultural District and plays a key part in meeting the expectations of a local audience which possesses both a passion for the art of Cantonese Opera and a concern for its future. To this end, the West Kow­loon Cultural District Authority will hold the Rising Stars in Cantonese Opera Showcase at this year's West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre. The aim of the event is to encourage the professional development of new talent while providing a platform to showcase their artistic performance. You are cordially invited to join and witness the future stars of local Cantonese Opera.

Seven future stars of Cantonese Opera, including Liu Hong Wah, Li Pui Yan Eliza, Tam Wing Lun Alan, Ruan Dewen, Kwan Wai Sham Juliana, Yuen Johnson and Wang Zhiliang will showcase their talents in the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre on 8 February.

Date
8 February 2014 (Saturday)

Time
7:00pm

Programme

Invocation in the Temple

This is from the classic The Troubled Love of Wang Kui and Gui Ying. It says that Scholar Wang Kui fails in the imperial examination and gets sick far away from his home. The hooker Jiao Guiying rescues and brings him back to brothel. She gets married with him and pays for his studies so that he can sit for the imperial examination again. After getting the honor of the top scorer in the imperial examination, he disregards his vow and divorces Guiying. He is then adopted into the family of the Royal Prime Minister. This selected scene describes that the unutterable sadness fills Guiying’s heart and nobody would listen to her complaint. So she goes to the temple to invoke the God of the Sea.   

Cast:
Liu Hong Wah as Jiao Guiying

Sisterly Love amidst Turmoil

It is the birthday feast of retired court official Si Tao Wen-yuan. His two daughters, Hong-ling and Bai-ling, are dressed up waiting for their lovers, Leng-qin and Xuan-yan. Despite Xuan-yan’s unrequited love for Bai, she has fallen for Hong’s lover, Leng-qin, and is determined to win him over. Shortly after the feast, Wen Shi-yu, a beggar, accidentally entered Si Tao Mansion and discovered her ex-wive’s portrait, thus revealing the secret of Hong-ling’s birth father. At the engagement party for Leng-qin and Hong-ling, Bai-ling was incited by Si Tao’s mistress to reveal Hong-ling’s secret in front of everyone. Upon learning the truth of her past, Hong-ling chased after Wen Shi-yu, in hope of reuniting with her birth father. However, in order to protect her future, he denies her. Hong-ling is devastated and resort to seek shelter at a nunnery. 

Cast:
Li Pui Yan Eliza as Wen Hongling
Szeto Chui-ying as Wen Shiyu

Romance of the Western Chamber

This is extracted from the classic Romance of the Western Chamber. Knowing that her lover Zhang Junrui is confined to his bed after her mother’s breaking the promise of marriage, Cui Ying Ying writes a poem of sympathy to him. Her maid, Hongniang, helps her to send the message to Zhang that she would like to have a tryst with him at the West Chamber at dusk. After getting the message, Zhang seems to be waiting for the moonlit, but he is indeed waiting for Cui’s visit. In his singing, it says that “The moon rises above the willow tree. At dusk she has a tryst with me. The wind blows and the flower’s shadow moves. All seems that you have come to me.”  

Cast:
Tam Wing Lun Alan as Zhang Junrui

Time to Go Home

Young general Wen Pingsheng and his wife, Pinniang, are deeply in love with each other. Jealous of the couple’s love, Wen’s cousins conspire with a doctor and claim that his wife has caught an incurable disease. Wen’s mother dislikes Pinniang for being barren and is also afraid that her son might get the disease. Pingshen’s mother forces Pinniang to live alone. After he goes out to battles, Pingshen’s mother expels Pinniang from the Wen’s family. 

This selected scene says that Pingsheng survives numerous combats and goes home. He realizes that his wife has passed away. He has no choice but weeps with deep sorrow at her tomb ... 

Cast:
Ruan Dewen as Wen Pingsheng

Butterfly Lovers

Zhu Yingtai disguises herself as a man and goes to Hangzhou to study. Studying with Liang Shanbo for three years, Yingtai comes to have a tender feeling for Shanbo. Yingtai’s father lies to her that her mother is sick and urges Yingtai’s return. On the path that Shanbo sending off Yingtai, Yingtai shows her love to Shanbo in different ways, but Shanbo is so naïve that he can’t understand her will. Until they meet at the pavilion, Shanbo has just awared that Yingtai is a lady. But Yingtai is forced by her father to marry Ma Wencai. Back at home, Shanbo falls ill from sorrow and dies.                                

This selected scene says that when Yingtai’s wedding procession passes Shanbo’s tomb, Yingtai gets off the sedan chair and offers sacrifices to him. A sudden bolt of lightning opens the tomb into which Yingtai dives …

Cast:
Kwan Wai Sham Juliana as Zhu Yingtai
Yuen Hok Wai as Renxin      

The Chase of Han Xin under the Moon

At the end of the Qin Dynasty, mass uprisings blossom everywhere. Swordsman Han Xìn joins the Xiang Liang’s troop. The troop was defeated, Han Xìn pays allegiance to Xiangyu. Offering advice and being rejected by Xiangyu many times, Han Xìn leaves Xiangyu and switches to Liu Bang. Han Xìn violates the military discipline one day and should be beheaded. He asks Xia Houying before the punishment, “Doesn’t Liu Bang aim to build up his Kingdom? But why does he kill the warrior?” Xia Houying believes that Han Xìn is not an ordinary talent basing on his words and appearance. So he liberates Han Xìn and recommends him to Liu Bang. But he is not put in an important position. Xiao He appreciates him after discussions. On the road to Nan Zheng, Han Xìn thinks that it is difficult for Liu Bang to trust him and so he leaves. Xiao He finds his departure and so chases Han Xìn.

Cast:
Yuen Johnson as Xiao He
Ng Lap Hei as Han Xìn

Lin Chong’s Nocturnal Escape

Lin Chong is the chief instructor in lance for the eight hundred thousand imperial guards.Gao Yanei, adopted son of Minister of War Gao Qiu, makes advances towards Lin’s wife while she is offering incense in Dongyue Temple. Fortunately, Lin saves his wife finally.

 

Being frustrated, Yanei speaks ill of Lin before his adopted father. Gao Qiu misleads Lin into White Tiger Hall, an area where all weapons are forbidden. Lin is eventually charged and exiled to Cangzhou, where he will be forced into hard labour. On the road to exile, Lin’s escorts try to kill him by order of Yanei. In Cangzhou, the fodder storage ground is set on fire at Qiu’s command. Fortunately, Lin escapes the disaster. Lin hears news that his faithful wife has committed suicide and is thrown into a violent rage, during which he slaughters the escorts. Now an outlaw, Lin is left with no choice but to join the Mount Liang Gang.

Cast:
Wang Zhiliang as Lin Chong

With Chinese lyrics and English synopsis

Ticket Price
$150, $100
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

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