Led by Cantonese opera virtuosi Lau Wai-ming and Cheng Wing-mui, the locally based Kam Yuk Tong Cantonese Opera Troupe will perform two classical works, "The Legend of the White Snake" and "A Couple in Love Contending for Supremacy", in September. The performers will also include Chan Hung-chun, Man Po-sum, Ko Lai, Wan Yuk-yu, Lai Yiu-wai, Chen Ming-ying and Hung Hoi.
"The Legend of the White Snake" is a story of Bai Suzhen. Xu Xian and Bai fall in love with each other and get married. One day, Xu meets Fahai, the abbot of Jin Shan Monastery, who warns him that Bai is actually a snake demon. Fahai gives him sulphur powder in order to reveal Bai's true form. After drinking sulphur wine, Bai metamorphoses into the form of a snake and Xu dies of shock. To restore him to life, Bai ventures to Kunlun Mountain to steal the celestial herb, lingzhi. Xu finally comes back to life but is detained in the Jin Shan Monastery by Fahai. In order to rescue Xu, Bai exercises her power to flood the monastery. But then Fahai imprisons Bai under Leifeng Pagoda after she gives birth to a son.
"A Couple in Love Contending for Supremacy" involves two marshals, Shang Guan and Si Tu, who are promoted to Count and Countess for their victories over barbarians. Court officials are required to show respect to them during their official parades on the street, but the joyful occasions turn into an open conflict when the two marshals schedule their parades on the same day and refuse to give way to one another. Their dispute is brought before the King and he tries to settle the dispute by matching the couple instead of holding a formal court hearing. On one hand, he tries to pacify the Countess by further honouring her as his sister; on the other hand, he promises the Count a princess as his wife. The King keeps this arrangement secret until the wedding night. Though the newly-wed couple love each other very much, they are too proud to give way and they quarrel throughout the night. Before the couple settle their dispute, the King orders them to rush to the military headquarters because the country has been put in danger by invading barbarians in the north. In order to select a commander-in-chief, the King follows an old tradition and holds a duel between the two marshals in which the Countess wins. The Count is so furious that he tries to show his courage by rushing to the enemies' camp alone. Unfortunately, the Count becomes trapped inside a valley. Learning that the Count is in grave danger, the Countess leads her army and rushes to save her husband. The couple finally makes up and celebrates a joyous reunion.
The two performances will start at 7.30pm. Details are as follows:
September 24 (Saturday),
Auditorium, Yuen Long Theatre
"The Legend of the White Snake"
September 27 (Tuesday),
Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
"A Couple in Love Contending for Supremacy"
These performances by Kam Yuk Tong 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 the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, 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 booking is available at www.urbirx.hk . Visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/chinese_opera/index.html for more programme details.
Ends/Monday, August 15, 2011