Led by Cantonese opera virtuosi Chan Kim-sing and Wan Fai-yin, the locally-based Kim Sun Sing Cantonese Opera Troupe will perform three renowned Cantonese operas in August - "The Lioness Roars", "General Di Qing and Princess Shuang Yang" and "The Chivalrous Thief and His Beloved Princess". Other performers include Man Po-sum, Leung Wai-hong, Shum Tsui-hung and Sung Hung-bo.
"The Lioness Roars" starts with the Spring Lantern Festival, during which Chen Jichang, his wife Liu Yue-e and Jichang's friend, Su Dongpo, attend a banquet hosted by the Song Emperor for his officials. They all join in a game of "lantern riddles" and Yue-e is the winner. The Emperor gives her a piece of jade as a prize, which she then gives to Jihcang as a token of her affection. Dongpo tries to ridicule Yue-e as she is cleverer than he is. In reply, Yue-e blames Dongpo for causing trouble and asks the Emperor to punish him. When he meets his cousin, Quincao, a trick occurs to Dongpo's to fool Jichang. The following day, Dongpo asks Jichang outside to admire the plum blossoms. Jichang is overwhelmed by the beauty of Quincao, who introduces herself to Jichang and expresses her willingness to be his concubine. At her request, Jichang reluctantly gives her the piece of jade as a token. Later, Yue-e finds out what has happened and reproaches Jichang.
"General Di Qing and Princess Shuang Yang" involves Di Qing, a military general of the Song dynasty, who makes a mistake when, while leading his reinforcement army, he is caught by Princess Shuangyang of the Liao Kingdom. The princess admires him and makes him the son-in-law of the King in the Liao Kingdom. Fearing that he might flee to the Song kingdom, she keeps his sabre and horse. The general's mother is, however, put in prison by the Song emperor for the son's suspected crime of treason. So Di Qing tricks his wife into getting drunk to get his sabre and horse back, whereupon he rushes off to rescue his mother in Song kingdom.
"The Chivalrous Thief and His Beloved Princess" is the story of Bai Yulong. A thief with a heart of gold, Bai steals into the grounds of the Forbidden Palace and comes across another petty thief, Huang Huayu, trying to get away with Princess Caifeng's jewels. He catches him, and is rewarded by meeting the princess in person. It is love at first sight. Now it happens that the crown prince has been missing for years, and the emperor is forced by his uncle to make his son heir to the throne. The royal uncle also wants his son to marry Princess Danfeng of Western Shu. Bai misses Caifeng so much that he teams up with Huang to present himself as the missing crown prince. The scheme of the Emperor's uncle is thwarted, but Bai cannot escape the fate that he has to marry the princess of Western Shu. Bai owns up to Caifeng and declares his love. The two escape from the palace to look for the real crown prince. Meanwhile, the royal uncle, seeing that his scheme has failed, rises in revolt. Fortunately the army of Western Shu comes to help and the rebel force is put down. The lovers are happily married.
Three performances will start at 7.30pm. Details as follows:
August 6 (Saturday)
Auditorium, Tai Po Civic Centre
"The Lioness Roars"
August 7 (Sunday)
Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
"General Di Qing and Princess Shuang Yang"
August 14 (Sunday)
Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
"The Chivalrous Thief and His Beloved Princess"
These performances by Kim Sun Sing Cantonese Opera Troupe are presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets priced from $100 to $260 are available at all URBTIX outlets, on Internet and by Credit Card Telephone Booking. Half-price tickets 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 available on a first-come, first-served basis).
For programme enquiries, call 2268 7325; for ticketing enquiries, call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999. Internet bookings are available at www.urbtix.hk.
A pre-performance talk (conducted in Cantonese) will be held at 4pm on August 7 (Sunday), at Lecture Room 1, Tuen Mun Town Hall. Admission is free and free seats available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ends/Saturday, June 25, 2011