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Famous comic actor Fang Zhanrong to perform in Hong Kong

     Fang Zhanrong, a famous comic actor in Chiuchow opera, together with the Guangdong Chiu Chow Opera Theatre Number Two Troupe and Hong Kong Sun Hon Kwong Chiu Chow Opera Troupe, will perform Chiuchow operatic excerpts rarely staged in Hong Kong.

     Chiuchow opera is considered a branch of "nanxi" (opera from southern China of the Sung and Yuan dynasties) because its traditional repertory comes from "nanxi" and "zaju" (local variety show). The stories mostly revolve around such themes as the family, ethical relationships and romantic love. The libretti are geared to both plebeian and high-brow tastes, while the language is that of the masses, and also adopt many popular tunes. Among the stock roles in Chiuchow opera, the comic role is considered the most characteristic. Actors performing this role must follow a special routine of stylised movements on stage. They are expected to show insight in their interpretation of a character.

     The coming performances will include operatic excerpts rarely staged in Hong Kong, such as "The Righteous Lan Jize" and "Filing Four Petitions". Details of performances are as follows:

June 4 (Friday) 7.30pm
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Excerpts: "Wreaking Havoc in Kaifeng", "Wandering in the Garden", "The Incident at the Temple of Three Gods", "A Misunderstanding Caused by a Hairpin"

June 5 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre
Excerpt: "A Fairy Who Gets Hit by a Coin"
Full opera: "Filing Four Petitions"

June 6 (Sunday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
Excerpts: "A Brother and Sister's Tearful Parting", "A Heartbreaking Reunion", "The Righteous Lan Jizi", "Executing Chen Shimei"

     Tickets ranging from $100 to $180 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) A "Chinese Opera Festival 2010" group discount is available, please check the details in the programme booklets.

     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.

     A free pre-performance talk on "The Theatrical Art of Chiuchow Opera" will be held at 2.30pm, June 5 (Saturday) at AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Speakers will include Fang Zhanrong, Zhan Shaojun, Chen Weicheng from the Guangdong Chiu Chow Opera Theatre Number Two Troupe and Lau Fok-kwong from the Hong Kong Sun Hon Kwong Chiu Chow Opera Troupe. Admission is free and seats available on first-come, first-served basis.

     A free foyer performance of excerpts of "A Long Road and a Fond Parting" from "The Butterfly Lovers" will be staged at 2.30pm on May 15 (Saturday) at the Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre.

Ends/Wednesday, May 5, 2010


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