The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's Chinese Opera Festival 2012 will present performances by Jingkun Theatre in June. The fascinating programme will draw on the repertoire of Yu Zhenfei and his artistic lineage.
In the early days of Kunqu opera, there was a distinction between "pure singers" and "performers". While the former did not act and merely paid attention to singing techniques, the latter were referred to as all-round Kunqu actors.
Maestro Yu Zhenfei gained a solid foundation in Kunqu singing from his father, who was an eminent "pure singer". Yu also enjoyed a career in the theatre that spanned seven decades. His lifelong dedication to the art form meant he was able to create amazingly convincing personae through characterisation. He was therefore exemplary in both singing and acting, and a role model in the genre for generations to come.
This year marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Maestro Yu and the 30th year of partnership between his disciples Cai Zhengren and Tang Yuen-ha. In celebration, the two Kunqu virtuosi will together present masterpieces from their mentor's prized repertoire. For those who want to appreciate the iconic style of the Yu school that integrates "singing, acting and expression" into one naturally engaging performance, this is definitely an opportunity not to be missed.
The main cast will include Cai Zhengren, Tang Yuen-ha, Lu Yongchang, Zhou Xuefeng, Zhao Wenying, Sun Jinghua, Lou Yunxiao, Tan Xiao and others. Details of the performances are as follows:
June 26 (Tuesday)
Excerpts: "The Little Cowherd"; "Asking the Way" from "The Chain Scheme"; and "Drafting the Petition", "Three Brought into the Judge's Chambers" and "The Reunion" from "A Miraculous Double Reunion".
June 27 (Wednesday)
Excerpts: "Beating the Flower Drum"; "Looking Homeward" from "Su Wu Herding Sheep"; and "The Portrait", "Finding the Portrait", "Calling upon the Picture" and "The Phantom Union, the Elopement" from "The Peony Pavilion".
All shows will start at 7.30pm at the Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $350, $240 and $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card 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 students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Please refer to the programme booklet for group and package booking discount schemes.
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit www.cof.gov.hk/2012/eng/prog04.php. For ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Wednesday, May 23, 2012