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Programme Details
Words from the Playwright
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Pre-performance Talk (In Cantonese)
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Ling Lung Cantonese Opera Troupe

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28 September 2012 (Fri) 7:30pm
Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
$280, 220, 160, 100
Location Map
 
6 October 2012 (Sat) 7:30pm
Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
$260, 220, 160, 100
Location Map
 
7 October 2012 (Sun) 7:30pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
$300, 260, 180, 100
Location Map
 
Programme Details

28 September 2012 (Fri)
The Reunion by a White Hare
Grandpa Li and his wife, both well past their fifties, have three children - namely Hongyi, Hongxin and Sanniang. When the old couple pass away, Hongyi and his wife covet the family estate they leave behind and propose the family estate be divided among the siblings. Sanniang and her husband, Zhiyuan, are allocated the haunted melon patches, and Hongyi counts on the demons there to remove the unwelcome new owners for him. Unwittingly Zhiyuan sets off to take possession of the melon patches, and the old servant Huogong rushes to stop him. With commendable courage Zhiyuan confronts and subdues the melon demon, and brings back its oracular book and powerful sword. Armed with these treasures, Zhiyuan bids farewell to Sanniang before embarking on his military career in the capital. After the departure of Zhiyuan, Hongyi and his wife maltreat the heavily pregnant Sanniang. Eventually, Sanniang gives birth to her son while in the mill and names him Yaoqilang because she has to sever the umbilical cord with her tooth for lack of tools. To protect her child from any harm by Hongyi, Sanniang asks Hongxin to take Yaoqilang away. Ten years later, on a hunting trip with his entourage one day, Yaoqilang chases after a white hare to a well and meets his long-lost mother. By that time both Zhiyuan and Hongxin have already earned some noble titles. With the distinguished gentlemen returning to their hometown, the story ends with a happy reunion between Zhiyuan and Sanniang.

Lee Lung: Liu Zhiyuan
Tang Mi-ling: Li Sanniang
Yau Sing-po: Li Hongyi
Lui Hung-kwong: Grandpa Li (first) ; Huogong (later)
Lam Po-chu: Hongyi’s wife
Song Hongbo: Li Hongxin
Lam Chi-ching: Yue Xiuying
Yuen Sin-ting: Yaoqilang

6-7 October 2012 (Sat-Sun)
Cantonese Opera Recollection of Dreams (Re-run)

"Texts and dreams of yesteryear are in what I write and what I dream about..."
The Peony that has seen the prime of Spring is, alas! Tang Xianzu's sigh about love that transcends life and death.

In his work The Peony Pavilion, Ming Dynasty dramatist Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) underscores the importance of freedom of the mind and of the heart in life. In the play, Du Liniang and Liu Mengmei fall in love through the medium of a dream. Then Liniang withers and dies with a heart unfulfilled. Shortly before her death, she paints a self-portrait to anticipate the love that is yet to come. In the author’s world, Tang is filled with worry over his eldest daughter’s serious illness, and to take his mind away from this, he puts his energy into writing. His wife Lady Fu is aware of his state of mind, and does her best to console him. Liniang’s death causes a stir in Hell. The Judge of the Netherworld summons the Flower Spirits for questioning. In the commotion, the runners of Hell take Tang to the netherworld to report on the case. Not totally clear about the circumstances, the Judge lets Liniang to return to life. There, the Taoist nun Sister Stone has been guarding the Plum Blossom Temple since Liniang passed away three years ago. On the day when she is to perform Taoist rituals for Liniang’s soul, another Taoist nun Sister Shaoyang and her disciple happen to stop by for a short visit. Sister Stone invites them to stay and perform the rituals together. Liu Mengmei, who is recuperating at the temple, finds Liniang’s scroll under a plum tree. In the middle of the night, Liniang visits Liu and tells him her story. Liu promises to dig open the grave to bring her back to this world. When Sister Stone learns of Liniang’s impending resurrection, she takes her nephew and Liu along to welcome Liniang at her grave. In the end, Mengmei and Liniang are united in love.

Lee Lung: Tang Xianzu and Liu Mengmei
Tang Mi-ling: Du Liniang and Lady Fu
Yau Sing-po: Madam Du and the Taoist Nun Sister Stone
Lui Hung-kwong: The Judge in Hell and the Scabby-headed Turtle
Lam Po-chu: Chunxiang and the Taoist Nun Sister Shaoyang

Overall Coordinator: Lai Kin
Advisor:  Kong Miu-lan
Playwright: Wan Chi-pang
Director: Geng Tianyuan
Artistic Director: Tang Yuen-ha
Music Director: Ng Lut-kwong 
Music Arranger: Kong Chun-kit
Costume Designer: Mandy Tam

Lyrics and dialogue with Chinese and English surtitles

 
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Words from the Playwright

Wan Chi-pang

Chinese traditional theatre, or xiqu, is a collective art from, with its success hinging upon all parties concerned in the production.

Recollection of Dreams is not only another narrative based on The Peony Pavilion. More importantly, it sets out to portray its playwright Tang Xianzu’s spirit behind his creation of this play. While The Peony Pavilion is a familiar story with Kunqu and Cantonese Opera audiences, yet how much do we know about its creator -from his inner world to writing motives, understanding, emotions etc.? This perhaps is the rationale of this play. Textual research on Tang’s play is best left to the work of the academic-minded, otherwise it would bore the audience stiff if all nitty-gritty bits are presented on stage.  That is why, for this production, we have only selected elements and details that we find interesting to help a broader audience to understand this 400-year-old masterpiece better.

Recollection of Dreams first saw the light of day in 2006. It owed its transformation from a textual work into a stage production to the efforts of the cast and the production team, especially the five lead actors who played dual roles.  It was highly taxing for these consummate actors indeed as they needed not only to act but also rush between scenes to change costumes back and forth.

At the time of inception of the script, I was indebted to the late Mr. Lai Kin, director Geng Tianyuan and Prof. Leung Ping-kwan for their invaluable input, without which the production could not have come to fruition. I was happy to learn that Recollection of Dreams was going to have a rerun in October this year, so even though it is the heat of summer and I was down with a bad cold, I still worked on the revisions of the script in the hope that my drive for perfection will do justice to the efforts made by the other members on the team. Most important of all, I want to share with the audience out there the intellectual, emotional and philosophical worlds of this genius playwright, Tang Xianzu, in particular, his belief in love as the eternal pursuit of humanity.

“Love – where does it come from? No one knows; but once it is here, it should be so deep that it should be undaunted. The living can die for it, and the dead can live again because of it, failing either of which it is no sublime love at all.”

 
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Programme Length
Running Time: 3 hours with an intermission
 
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Pre-performance Talk (In Cantonese)
24 September 2012 (Mon) 7:30pm
AC1, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speakers: Wan Chi-pang, Tang Mi-ling
Free Admission. Limited seats available on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
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Post-performance Talk (In Cantonese)
17 October 2012 (Wed) 7:30pm
Rehearsal Room (1), Ko Shan Theatre
Speakers: Lee Lung, Tang Mi-ling
Free Admission. Limited seats available on a first-come-first-served basis.
 
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Production Team
Production Coordinator: Tang Mi-ling
Production Manager: Wong Siu-sang
Percussion Leader: Yau Lung
Ensemble Leader: Pang Kam-shun
Martial Arts Director: Hon Yin-ming
Stage Manager/Lighting Designer: Cheng Sui-wah
Set Production: Kwong Hing Stage Scene Production Company
Costume: Kam Yee Costumes Company
 
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Ticketing and Concession
Tickets available from 17 August onwards at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Telephone Credit Card Booking
Half-price tickets available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis)
 
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Enquiries
Programme Enquiries:2268 7325
Ticketing Enquiries:2734 9009
Telephone Credit Card Booking:2111 5999
Internet Booking:www.urbtix.hk
The presenter reserves the right to substitute artists and change the programme should unavoidable circumstances make it necessary
The contents of this programme do not represent the views of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department
 
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