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Kunqu programmes to celebrate its worldwide recognition

     To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Kunqu opera onto UNESCO's list of "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity", the Chinese Opera Festival, presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will showcase Kunqu opera,  tracing the genre's development over the years.

     In June, "An Operatic Legacy-Showcase of Kunqu Opera Classic Excerpts" will be staged to show how the exquisite art of Kunqu and its splendid libretti have been preserved in their finest form. Programmes include operatic excerpts from the classical repertory by four Kunqu troupes: Shanghai Kunqu Opera Troupe, Jiangsu Kunqu Opera Institute, Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theatre of Jiangsu and China Kunqu Opera Museum. Eminent veteran and young Kunqu artists, including Cai Zhengren, Ji Zhenhua, Zhang Jingxian, Hu Jinfang, Tao Hongzhen, Gong Yinlei, Zhou Xuefeng, Kong Aiping, Qian Zhenrong,and  Xiao Xiangping, will perform together in celebration of this genre whose artistry has been perpetuated through the tradition of the mentoring system. Details of the programme are as follows:

June 11 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Excerpts: "Invocation to the Gods" from "Returning the Gold Bangle", "Writing a Poem" from "The Soup that Cures Jealousy", "At Nanpu River" from "The Story of the Lute", "Storming the Chamber" from "The Palace of Eternal Life" and "Seeking Shelter for His Son" from "The Beauty Washing Silk by the River"

June 12 (Sunday) 7.30pm
Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Excerpts: "Inscribing on the Fan" from "The Peach Blossom Fan", "Finding the Rat and Fortune Telling" from "Fifteen Strings of Cash", "The Obsessive Dream" from "Lanke Mountain", "Killing 'The Tiger'" from "The Iron Headgear" and "Following Tracks in the Snow" from "The Story of the Decorated Mansion"

     In July, there will be performances by Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre. The troupe strives to revive and adapt the old while creating the new. The programme opens with a new version of "The Story of the West Chamber", which follows the original vocalisation while at the same time using modern stage effects under the direction of Guo Xiaonan. This work is classical yet contemporary, full of poetic charm as well as new visual experience that appeals to the new generation. Famous Kunqu artists from the Northern Theatre, including Hou Shaokui, Yang Fengyi, Wang Zhenyi, Shi Hongmei, Wei Chunrong, Ma Baowang, Shao Zheng, will perform their prized repertoires. Details of the programme are as follows:

July 8 (Friday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
"The Story of the West Chamber" (New version)

July 9 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
Excerpts: "Bidding Farewell to His Mother and Killed by a Shower of Arrows" from "The Iron Headgear", "Pleading Innocence" from "The Injustice Done to Dou E", "Storming the Chamber" from "The Palace of Eternal Life", "On Broken Bridge" from "The Legend of the White Snake" and "To the Banquet Armed"

July 10 (Sunday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
Excerpts: "Assassinating Liang" from "The Joy of the Fishing Folks", "Jin-Bu-Huan", "The Gift of a Sword from Baihua" from "Princess Baihua" and "Escorting Jingniang Thousands of Miles"

     Tickets priced from $100 to $350 are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients. (Limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients.) Please refer to the programme booklet for group booking discount schemes for Chinese Opera Festival programmes.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

Ends/Friday, April 29, 2011


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