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Chinese Opera Festival 2013 : Talks on the Appreciation of Peking Opera

Venue Date & Time Price
Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Space Museum

Speaker: Dr. George Shen

Dr Shen is a seasoned connoisseur of Peking Opera because he grew up steeped in the art form ever since he was young. His experience is reflected in the many anecdotes and insightful critiques included in one of his books on famous Peking Opera actors. He gave six highly successful talks on Peking Opera at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in 2010, the contents of which were compiled into a book, “Six Talks on Peking Opera”, published last year.  He gave two talks on Peking Opera in Hong Kong again in 2011 to a packed audience. Dr. Shen currently lives in California, where he enjoys writing and Peking Opera. He is President of the Society of Chinese Performing Arts, San Francisco, and Vice-President of the Mei Lanfang Society.


12 April 2013 (Friday)

Famous stock repertoire of wusheng and laosheng roles: Dingjun Mountain, Yangping Pass and Qin Qiong Inspecting the Army Formation

Laosheng is a principal role type in Peking Opera.  It can be further divided into laoshengs specialized in singing, acting and martial arts; and wulaosheng (older male in military roles) can again be subdivided into two types: kaoba (fully-armoured) and duanda (close-combat fighting). While each role type in Peking Opera has stringent standards for all four aspects of performance – singing, delivery of lines, acting and martial arts – this is of particular importance for the wulaosheng. In the said selections, Dingjun Mountain, Yangping Pass contains two exemplary works for actors in kaoba laosheng (fully-armoured older male roles), i.e., the actor would be an old man wearing full armour, has a long beard and holds a heavy weapon. On the other hand, Qin Qiong Inspecting the Army Formation is the exemplary work for those in duanda laosheng (close-combat fighting old man roles): the actor wears close-fitting pyjamas with tight-fitting sleeves, and holds a handier weapon. This talk shall explore the arts of the wulaosheng.


13 April 2013 (Saturday)

On wusheng and ‘painted face’ roles – Citing The Incident on Lianhuan Mountain as an example

The Incident on Lianhuan Mountain is made up of several episodes, with actors in different roles playing the lead in each.  At the Fortress and Stealing the Horse are played by an actor in hualian (painted face) role;  Visiting the Grave is performed by a wusheng and a hualian; and Stealing the Double Hookswords is by an actor in wuchou (comic military male) role. The Incident on Lianhuan Mountain had made a number of stars in its history of performance because of its demanding skills, and some of the big names include Yang Xiaolou, Hao Shouchen, Hou Xirui and Jin Shaoshan.  The most famous partnership cast in the 1940’s was Gao Shenglin and Qiu Shengrong. This talk shall explore the arts of the wusheng and a hualian (painted face).


In Cantonese

Programme Length

Duration of each talk is about 1 hour 30 minutes


Tickets available from 12 March 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 CSSA recipients available on a first-come-first-served basis)


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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