Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Chinese Opera Festival aims to bring Chinese opera lovers a wide variety of performances to choose from. This year, the festival is presenting Qinqiang, one of the oldest theatrical forms in China.
Qinqiang originated in Shaanxi and Gansu, and has been inscribed onto the first National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in China. The vocal style is typified by its open, robust tones, with sonorous attack notes mingling with poignancy. The flamboyant presentation style seems to have come from the rustic, forthright character of the Shaanxi people in northwest China.
The Youth Experimental Theatre of the Shaanxi Traditional Opera Research Institute will be performing one of the eight most famous full-length operas in Shaanxi theatre, "Zhou Ren on the Way Home". It is a demanding performance for the male and female lead actors in terms of singing and acting. The actors need to demonstrate masterly skills to show the inner turmoil of the characters. For example, Li Xiaofeng will perform "rolling on the floor and hair flinging", "leaping in mid-air" and other actions to suggest the passionate feelings in his character; Li Mei will perform "the ghost's gait in walking" and "blowing fire"; and Li Dongqiao will portray the fiery character of Wu Zixu with his famous stylised movements as a "xusheng" (bearded male).
Details of the performances are as follows:
July 13 (Friday)
"Zhou Ren on the Way Home"
July 14 (Saturday)
Excerpts: "Wu Yuan Reading the Farewell Letter", "Qingwen the Maid Tearing the Fan", "Dousing the Top Scholar's Red Robe", "The Chase on the Hill" and "The Revenge of the Female Ghost"
Performances will be staged at 7.30pm at the Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre. Tickets priced at $240, $180, $140 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 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/prog05.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.
The following extension activities will be held to tie in with the performances with free admission:
Artists on Their Art: An Introduction to the Art of Qinqiang (in Putonghua)
July 12 (Thursday), 7.30pm
AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Exhibition: The Art of Qinqiang
June 26 to July 15
Foyer, Ko Shan Theatre
Ends/Wednesday, May 30, 2012