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Graphic: Press ReleasesGraphic: February
 
Guangdong and local troupes to showcase Chiu Chow operas in April
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     The well-received Guangdong Chiu Chow Opera Theatre Number Two Troupe will join locally based Sun Hon Kwong Chiu Chow Opera Troupe for three performances in April. The shows will feature two classic Chiu Chow operas and excerpts from several other fantastic works.

     The troupes will perform "Su Liuniang" at 7.30pm on April 4 (Thursday) and excerpts from "The Killing of Yan Xijiao", "Beating the Flower Drum", "The Story of the West Chamber" and "A Love Match Caused by a Splash" at 7.30pm on April 5 (Friday) at the Theatre, Sheung Wan Civic Centre. They will also perform "Liu Mingzhu" at 7.30pm on April 6 (Saturday) at the Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall.

     The cast includes Huang Danna, Chen Lijun, Chen Muyun, Wang Ruiguang, Yang Weidan, Cai Caiwang, Xie Jishun, Qiu Xiuru and Chen Weicheng.

     In "Su Liuniang", the title character, a beautiful and graceful girl with fine character, has been studying in her uncle's home in Xilu since childhood. She falls in love with her cousin, Guo Jichuan, and secretly pledges to marry him. However, her father goes to the city of Chaozhou and agrees to marry Liuniang to Yang Ziliang, the son of the private adviser to the government office there. Liuniang strongly objects to the marriage.

     Eventually, on the eve of the wedding day, Liuniang feels helpless. She leaves a suicide note and attempts to drown herself in a river. Fortunately, her maid Taohua and Jichuan arrive at the riverside just in time and Liuniang is able to escape from the forced marriage.

     The story of "Liu Mingzhu" is set during the reign of Emperor Muzong in the Ming dynasty. Zhu Houfan, the prince assisting the emperor in his reign, attempts to usurp the throne by colluding with pirates and seizing control of the army. As a result, the people are plunged into abject misery and the fate of the nation is sealed. The anti-barbarian general of Chaozhou, Liu Guangchen, attempts to impeach the treacherous prince before the emperor without caring for his own safety. However, the secret leaks out. The wicked clique issues a false imperial edict and Liu Guangchen is killed on his way to the capital.

     Liu Mingzhu, the daughter of Liu Guangchen, learns that her father has been killed unjustly in trying to defend the country against treachery. She swears in grief that she will take revenge on the evil officials and fulfil her father's wish. Mingzhu makes a long, arduous journey to the capital. The assistant minister for inspection, Hai Rui, meets Mingzhu on his way back to the capital and is deeply shocked after enquiring about her grievance. With Hai's help, Mingzhu braves the greatest danger. She uses her exceptional needlework skills to make strings of beads as a memorial to the throne. She then escapes from a fire, forces her way into the palace and presents her case before the emperor to clear her father's name and wipe out the wicked clique.

     The performances, with Chinese surtitles and English synopsis available upon request, by the Guangdong Chiu Chow Opera Theatre Number Two Troupe and the Sun Hon Kwong Chiu Chow Opera Troupe are presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets ranging from $120 to $180 are now available at 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 full-time students and CSSA recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.)

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/chinese_opera/program_162.html . Ticketing enquiries can be made on 2734 9009 and telephone credit card bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk .

Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:01

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