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Peking opera virtuosi give new approach to traditional works

     The Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theatre's "New Approach to Traditional Peking Opera", jointly performed by Peking opera virtuosi from the Mainland and Taiwan, will feature renowned performers of its own and also guest artists from the Shanghai Peking Opera Theatre.

     The main cast includes Sun Zhengyang, the number one performer of comic roles in Jiangnan; Li Baochun, the son of legendary Peking opera virtuoso Li Shaochun; Yang Yanyi, National Class One Performer of painted face roles; National Class One Performers Chang Guixiang and Zhang Hongwei; as well as Huang Yulin, who specialises in "qingyi huadan" (virtuous female and flirtatious female) roles from the Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theatre.

     Li Baochun is the founder of the Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theatre. Born into a family with a great theatrical heritage in China, his grandfather and parents were all celebrated Peking Opera masters. His father, the legendary Li Shaochun, had a repertoire that is still considered unsurpassable. Following his father's steps, Li Baochun specialises in "wenwu laosheng" (older male roles in both civil and military categories). At the age of 9, he began performing under the strict discipline of his grandfather. He was admitted to the renowned Beijing Peking Opera School where he studied for eight years. He has put much effort into re-arranging old works with a fresh approach.

     Li will bring to Hong Kong a variety of works with exciting innovations. In the opera "Vengeance in a Black Pot", he uses a differently designed "ghost" costume to enhance the visual impact. In another opera, "Castigating Cao Cao in the World of the Living and the Dead", he performs the stunning story in two styles, Peking Opera and Kunqu Opera.

     Details of the performances are as follows:

June 5 (Friday)
Excerpt "Hanging up a Picture"
Full-length opera "Vengeance in a Black Pot"

June 6 (Saturday)
Excerpts from the operas "Castigating Cao Cao in the World of the Living and the Dead", "The Closet as Matchmaker" and "Monkey King"

     The shows will start at 7.30pm at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $350, $240, $180 and $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens aged 60 or over, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. Limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) For package purchase discount, please refer to the programme leaflet for details.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7325; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. Internet bookings are available at . For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

     There will be a pre-performance talk (in Putonghua) in Room AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre on June 2 (Tuesday) at 7.30pm. The topic is Lifelong Learning on and off Stage and the speaker is Li Baochun.

Ends/Friday, April 3, 2009


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