Peking opera, or Jingju, is a form of Chinese traditional theatre that emerged in Beijing during the Qing dynasty and has its origins in various regional forms of xiqu. Regarded as China’s national opera, it was inscribed onto the UNESCO Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2010. This showcase performance features a stellar cast of top Peking opera artists, including Plum Blossom Grand Award winner Pei Yanling, in a challenging solo piece, renowned jing (painted face) performer Meng Guanglu, and top wusheng (martial arts) artist Wang Ping.
"Remembering his Mother at the Palace" from The Fourth Son Visits His Mother
During a war between the Song and Liao states, Song general Yang Silang is captured and left to fend for himself in a foreign land. Disguising his identity, he employs his good looks and martial arts skills to secure the hand of Liao Princess Tiejing. Many years later, while fighting with the Liao troops, Silang hears that his mother, the Song heroine She Taijun, is leading an army to the nearby Yanmen Pass. Longing to see his family, Silang confesses his identity to his wife and asks her to help him cross the pass to visit the Song troops. Taking pity on her husband, Princess Tiejing obtains a special arrow that will allow him to cross the pass and visit his mother. But will Silang reach his goal safely and will he return to his devoted wife?
Qin Qiong Inspects the Army
Set during the wars of the Sui-Tang period, the story recounts the bitter struggle between rebel general Qin Qiong and his father’s assassin, Sui dynasty general Yang Lin. Meeting at a strategic battle front, the two warriors and their troops face off. Yang sets up a formidable line of his troops and vows that if Qin can break through, he will send his men home, but that if Qin fails, he and his army of Wagang rebels will be slaughtered. With the help of his companion, rebel officer Wang Zhou, Qin inspects his men. Happy that they are ready for action, he prepares to take on the Sui troops…
Cast: Wang Ping (Two-time winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre)
Red Mulberry Town
After the death of his parents, young Bao Zheng is raised by Wu Miaozhen, the wife of his older brother. Years later, the adult Bao Zheng is a magistrate known for his fair and selfless judgement. One day, while travelling to a nearby town, Bao encounters an angry crowd protesting corruption and miscarriages of justice in Xiaoshan County where Wu Miaozhen’s son Bao Mian is magistrate.
When investigations prove Bao Mian’s involvement, Bao Zheng is compelled to have him executed. Heartbroken at hearing what has taken place, Wu Miaozhen rushes to admonish Bao for failing to consider his family and show compassion towards his nephew. Will Bao be able to explain his actions and reconcile with his sister-in-law despite his role in the death of her son?
Fleeing by Night (Recital)
Based on characters in the famous Chinese novel The Water Margin, this play tells the story of the outlaw Lin Chong, whose alluring wife, Zhang, is the object of unwanted attention from minister for military affairs Gao Qiu. After failing to win Zhang’s affection, Gao decides to achieve his goal by getting rid of Lin. To do this, he tricks Lin into carrying a precious sword into the White Tiger Hall, where weapons are prohibited, knowing that Lin will be searched and accused of attempted assassination. When Lin is caught and sent into exile, Gao bribes his guards to have him killed en route. But the plan is foiled, and Lin is rescued by the monk Lu Zhishen, who accompanies him to his destination. In exile, Lin is assigned the post of watchman on the fodder grounds. Once again Gao plots to have Lin killed, this time instructing his men to set fire to the grounds. As Lin has left his post to buy some wine, he escapes the fire but is charged with failing to perform his duties and forced to flee. One night, as Lin takes refuge in an old temple, a Buddhist diety appears to him, warning that Gao’s search party is on his heels. Will Lin be able to escape and exact revenge on the evil Gao?
Cast: Pei Yanling (Grand Prix of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre)
14 March 2019 (Thursday)
Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre
Regional languages with Chinese and English surtitles
(852) 2200 0022, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets now on sale