The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Chinese Opera Festival 2010 will present a new Cantonese opera, "Eternal Lament at the Palace of Eternal Life", by the Hon Fung Cantonese Opera Institute.
Cantonese opera maestros who will be performing include Leung Hon-wai, Ng Chin-fung, Wan Fai-yin, Wong Chiu-kwan, Leung Wai-hong, Wan Yuk-yu, Tse Kwok-cheung and Yuen Tak-cheong.
The story is about the Hong Sheng, a poet and dramatist of the early Qing Dynasty who wrote a play called "The Palace of Eternal Life". Hong privately staged "The Palace of Eternal Life" during the mourning period following the death of Empress Tong. He was then stripped of his title and banished from the capital. Fifteen years later, Hong was invited to a performance of "The Palace of Eternal Life". He is greatly saddened as it revived all the pain he had tried to suppress over the years. In the boat on his way home, he breaks into song and sighs, "A lifetime of honour and position lost to the lamentable 'Palace of Eternal Life'" before he threw himself into the river and drowned.
"Eternal Lament at the Palace of Eternal Life" is a new Cantonese opera by the Hon Fung Cantonese Opera Institute. The story is based on Hong Sheng's creative process in writing "The Palace of Eternal Life", interwoven with scenes from the play itself. The ingenious stage design closes the time gap between the Tang and the Qing periods by using a revolving stage. The new and original music and dance will take the audience on a journey through Hong Sheng's world and that of his play.
"Eternal Lament at the Palace of Eternal Life" by Hon Fung Cantonese Opera Institute will be staged at 7.30pm from July 16 to 18 (Friday to Sunday) at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre.
Tickets priced at $320, $220 and $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens aged 60 and above, 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.) A Chinese Opera Festival 2010 group discount is available; please check the details in the programme leaflets.
For programme enquiries, call 2268 7325; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings are available at www.urbtix.hk . Visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp for more information on the programme.
There are free talks and an exhibition on this production. Details are as follows:
July 10 (Saturday) 2.30pm
AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: Production snapshots of the new Cantonese opera, "Eternal Lament at the Palace of Eternal Life"
Speakers: Leung Hon-wai, Wong Chiu-kwan, Au Man-fung
Meet the Artists Session
July 31 (Saturday) 2.30pm
AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: "Eternal Lament at the Palace of Eternal Life": a new Cantonese opera
Speakers: Leung Hon-wai, Ng Chin-fung, Wan Fai-yin, Wong Chiu-kwan
Topic: An Exhibition on Hong Sheng and "The Palace of Eternal Life" - A Legacy of Chinese Theatre for Three Hundred Years
July 5 to 18, 2010 Foyer, Kwai Tsing Theatre
July 6 to 21, 2010 Foyer, Ko Shan Theatre
Ends/Wednesday, June 30, 2010