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Dragon and Phoenix Cantonese Opera Troupe – A Selection of Cantonese Opera by So Yung

Venue Date & Time Price
Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
map
26.10.2013(Sat)
19:30
$280, $220, $160, $100
Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall
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28.10.2013(Mon)
19:30
$350, $240, $160, $100
Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
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29.10.2013(Tue)-30.10.2013(Wed)
19:30
$350, $240, $160, $100
Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
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02.11.2013(Sat)
19:30
$280, $220, $160, $100

26.10.2013 (Sat)

White Dragon Pass

Emperor Taizu of the Song Dynasty is besieged in the White Dragon Pass by White Dragon, the crown prince of Northern Han. General Huyan Shouting and his younger sister Jinding break through the encirclement by using a beauty trap. They call for reinforcement and achieve a triumph eventually. White Dragon runs away in a flurry and meets Jinding again at the Flying Dragon Ridge. White Dragon implores Jinding’s help and she let him go in defiance of the military order since she has cherished an affection for him. White Dragon stages a comeback very shortly with repeated victories. Jinding has no alternative but to see him at his barrack.  She knows that it is always hard to choose between country and love as they never co-exist.

 

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Yuen Siu-fai, Lai Yiu-wai, Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

 

28.10.2013 (Mon)

Plucking the Tassels

General Tang Jiao and the imperial brother-in-law Xiang Xiang of the state of Chu fall in love with Yuji at the same time. Yuji knows that Xiang is a wicked man and urges Jiao to marry her as early as possible. The King of Chu comes in person to select Yuji as his concubine. Yuji has no option but to break her engagement with Jiao. The King invites all his officials to a banquet at the Terrace of Jian where Jiao drinks away his sorrow from losing his lover. Suddenly, the candle lamps at the venue are blown out by a gust of strong wind. Enraged by Yuji’s heartlessness, Jiao tries to stab her with a dagger but he mistakenly hits another concubine Xiang beside him. Concubine Xiang pulls off his helmet tassel and tells the King about it. The King reckons that the offence should not be taken seriously as it is not committed with intent at a time of jubilation. He then orders all the officials to take off their tassels before the candle lamps are lit again. The banquet is thus named “A Gathering for Pulling Off the Helmet Tassel”. Later, the state of Jin invades Chu and the King leads his troops to fight against the enemy. The Jin commander Xian Mie, who is a brave and skilful warrior, surrounds the Chu troops. Jiao leads an army to rescue the King and runs across Yuji on the way. Joy and sorrow mingle at their reunion. Jiao is caught between love and hate but he still risks his life to rescue the King.

 

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Yuen Siu-fai, Lai Yiu-wai, Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

 

29.10.2013 (Tue)

The Couple Swords

Qi Jingwen, a valiant general of the border, is happily married with Chu Lixiang. Lixiang has two brothers. Cunwu, her eldest brother, does no decent work whereas Weiwu, her second brother, has high but unrealised aspirations. They both live under the same roof of the Qi family. Wei Zhenliang, the widowed daughter-in-law of Qi’s mother, is unhappy that her mother-in-law shows much affection for Lixiang. She mocks Weiwu by saying that he relies on his sister financially. Weiwu then leaves the Qi family in anger. Meanwhile, Jingwen leaves his wife to fight at the border which is in a critical state. One night, Zhenliang rendezvouses with a man in the garden, but their affair is discovered by Qi’s mother. Zhenliang kills her mother-in-law with a dagger left by Weiwu. She then frames the family and friends of Lixiang by bribing the magistrate’s office. They are sentenced to death. In the meantime, Weiwu and Jingwen are each awarded with an imperial sword for rescuing the emperor. When they come home to offer sacrifices to their ancestors, they reverse the unjust verdict and reunite with their family.

 

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Liu Kwok-sum, Lai Yiu-wai, Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

 

30.10.2013 (Wed)

The Royal Decree of Exemption from Death

This story sets in the Song Dynasty. Guo Xiaofeng, the Imperial Concubine of the West Palace, is the favourite of the emperor. The Queen Mother considers her a bewitching lady and dislikes her. When Xiaofeng discovers that Huaying, the Crown Prince born of the deceased Queen, is secretly in love with her maid Ziyu, she persuades the emperor to abolish his title and name her own son Huaxiong as the royal successor instead. Huaying’s teacher, Konglingzheng intercedes with the emperor on behalf of Huaying, only to be rebuked for sparing his rod and is ordered to punish the Crown Prince. When the Queen Mother hears the news, she orders an investigation into the matter. She then arranges a royal wedding for Huaying and Ziyu whom she considers decent and virtuous. On the wedding day, Xiaofeng puts poison into the ceremonial wine, but Ziyu unknowingly presents the wine to the Queen Mother who drinks it and dies when she visits to congratulate the couple in the wedding chamber. Xiaofeng requests the emperor to execute Huaying and bury Ziyu alive. To save his brother, Prince Huaxiong volunteers to preside at the execution and secretly release him during execution. Huaying encounters the Lord of Chu and presents his case to him. With the gold life-saving medal given by the Lord of Chu, Huaying hurries back to the court to save Ziyu. The Lord of Chu then summons the heads of other vassal states to the capital to reverse the verdict.

 

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Liu Kwok-sum, Johnson Yuen, Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

 

2.11.2013 (Sat)

An Order to Annihilate Dragon Mountain

Emperor Guangwu of the Han Dynasty believes the slanders by the imperial father-in-law and executes Marshal Yao Qi of the Caoqiao Pass. Wang Ying, the guardian of the prince, is dissatisfied with what the imperial father-in-law has done. He pretends to collaborate with the imperial father-in-law in order to investigate his evil dealings with the enemy. The imperial father-in-law accepts him as the most trusted subordinate. To recruit heroes from the country, the imperial father-in-law orders Lingxian, the daughter of Wang Ying, to hold a martial arts contest for the selection of a groom. Yao Gang, the son of Yao Qi, participates the contest and wins Lingxian as his wife. Afterwards, when Yao Gang finds out that the imperial father-in-law and Wang Ying are the culprits behind the death of his father, he feels very bitter; Lingxian is also caught in a dilemma. The imperial father-in-law invites Yao Gang to come to his house for a banquet. During the feast, Yao Gang accidentally enters the Baoyue Chamber where he reunites with his elder sister, Susu, with whom he has lost touch for a decade. He steals a letter which proves that the imperial father-in-law works for the enemy. Then, he flees to the Dragon Mountain. The imperial father-in-law is furious after knowing that Yao Gang has run away, and forces Wang Ying to catch him. Wang Ying has no choice but to capture Yao Gang. He then releases Yao Gang secretly and Yao Gang manages to go back to the Dragon Mountain. Later, the imperial father-in-law colludes with Huns to invade the Central Plains and put the frontier in an emergency state. Wang Ying and Lingxian ascend the Dragon Mountain to rescue Yao Gang.  They dispel their misunderstanding and descend the mountain to fight against the enemy together. Eventually, the wicked imperial father-in-law is executed.

 

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Liu Kwok-sum, Johnson Yuen, Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

Playwright

So Yung (1929-2004) was born in Guangzhou. His connection with Cantonese Opera began early, because his parents were keen enthusiasts of Cantonese Opera and often hired opera troupes or individual artists to perform or sing at home. He was therefore acquainted with many artists of Chinese opera. He became a formal disciple of Ho Fei-fan, a Cantonese Opera star, in Guangzhou in the 1950’s, and performed riff-raff roles in the latter’s troupe.  Then, under the influence of his neighbour, Fung Chi-fun, So began writing libretti and plays for Cantonese Opera.  He received formal training in this from Leung Mung, one of the dramatists writing for Ho Fei-fan’s troupe.  So resettled in Hong Kong in 1954, and took up temporary abode at Ho’s home.  During that time, he also assisted Au Yeung Kim, lead actor and dramatist with Ho’s troupe, in writing the new play, Lovers’ Plight.  He also began writing Cantonese sung arias for films, which was later followed by Cantonese pop songs in the 1960’s.  At the same time he was a radio programme host who provided insights into arias in Chinese opera. He began taking up impresario work in the 1980’s, having worked for several Cantonese Opera troupes, such as Lung Fung, Boom-a-Bliss and Fung Sing Fai.

His oeuvre of Cantonese Operas include Two War Heroes and a Wronged Woman (1954), The Heart Thief (1955), Armoured Horses and a Silver Marriage (1974), The Story of Liu Yaojin (1975), Plucking the Tassels (circa 1978), The Romance of the Peony Fairy (1991), Wreaking Havoc at the Green Bamboo Temple (1995), The Poet Li Bai (1997), The Cosmic Sword (1998), Cao Cao, Guan Yu and Diao Chan (2001), Han Xin’s Fatal Visit to the Palace (2003) and Herculean’s Bow (2004) etc.

Cantonese operatic arias include Accompanying Jingniang Thousands of Miles, A Fairy Brings a Son, A Tearful Farewell, Dik Ching Crashing through Three Blockades, Plucking the Tassels, The Song of the Phoenix In Search of a Soul Mate from The Lute and the Heart, The Major Trial from It Snows in Summer, White Dragon Pass, The Tragedy of Princess Lok Cheung and Reunion after the Asunder from Lady Blossom.

Performers

Cast: Lee Lung, Nam Fung, Yuen Siu-fai (26, 28/10), Liu Kwok-sum (29-30/10, 2/11), Lai Yiu-wai (26, 28-29/10), Johnson Yuen (30/10, 2/11), Cheng Nga-kei, Lam Tin-yau

Production Team

Please refer to Chinese version.

Programme Length

Approx. 3 hrs 30 mins with an intermission

Performance Talk

14.11.2013 (Thu) 7:30pm

AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Speakers: Lee Lung, Nam Fung

 

In Cantonese

Free admission. Limited seats available on a first-come-first-served basis

Ticketing

Tickets available from 16 September 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)

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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