Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, Good Harvest Cantonese Opera Troupe will give two performances in November featuring military stories. Performing in the shows are Cantonese opera virtuosi including Song Hongbo, Wan Fei-yin, Wan Yuk-yu, Lui Chi-ming, Leung Wai-hong, Ko Lai and Johnson Yuen.
Yip Shiu-tak's "The Magnificently-cloaked General Saves His Country" is derived from the military style of Peking opera, while Pan Yifan's "The Hero's Blood on Mount Pipa" originates from local repertoire.
"The Magnificently-cloaked General Saves His Country" tells the story of the reign of Emperor Taizong in the Tang dynasty. Nomadic warriors of Liao are a constant threat to the Chinese border. At the martial arts contest to appoint a military leader, Qin Huaiyu defeats all his opponents, including the valiant Luo Tong, to win honours as well as the heart of Princess Yingping. When Chuan Gai Su Juan, the leader of the Liao tribe, invades China, the general Qin Shubao dispatches Wei Chigong to obtain the military stamp from Huaiyu. The gesture offends Qin Huaiyu, and he gives Wei a sound thrashing. When Qin Shubao finds out, he is infuriated and orders Cheng Yaojin to take Qin Huaiyu to be tried before the Emperor. Knowing that his daughter is in love with him, the Emperor only gives him a light telling off, and then arranges for a royal wedding for the pair.
As the war intensifies, the Emperor is surrounded by Liao troops at the town of Yuehu. Cheng Yaojin returns to the capital to get reinforcements. Since General Qin Shubao has just passed away, Luo Tong is made commander-in-chief, while Qin Huaiyu is assigned to the front lines. Qin Huaiyu breaks through the enemy line by himself, but gets no support from Wei Chigong, who still harbours a grudge against him. Just as he is about to be overwhelmed by the enemy, Luo Tong's army comes to his rescue, and the invaders are successfully repelled. When the Emperor learns of Wei Chigong's behaviour, he is outraged and orders him to apologise to Qin Huaiwang. The two men make up and devote themselves to their country.
"The Hero's Blood on Mount Pipa" tells the story of two sons of Guan Dapeng, Wenhu and Wenju. Wenhu, who is wilful and strong-minded, is in love with his cousin Xiaoju and they pledge to marry each other. One day, they learn about the invasion by the Xiongnu army. Wenhu volunteers to fight against the enemy on his own. Before leaving home, he asks his parents to look after Xiaoju until he wins the battle and comes back to marry her. Dapeng and Wenju lead the backup force. At the battlefield, they are shocked to see dead bodies all around and think that Wenhu has sacrificed himself for the country. Xiaoju is then arranged to marry Wenju.
One year later, Wenhu manages to escape and arrives home. Caught in a mixed feeling of jealousy and hatred over the unexpected news that Xiaoju has become his sister-in-law, Wenhu tries to kill Wenju and Xiaoju with his sword and even his parents cannot stop him. Wenhu challenges Wenju to a duel on Mount Pipa. The winner will have Xiaoju whereas the loser will have to commit suicide. At this juncture, the Xiongnu army attacks the border again. The brothers dispel hostility and join hands to resist foreign invasion.
Details of the performances are as follows:
"The Magnificently-cloaked General Saves His Country"
November 1 (Friday), 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
Tickets: $100, $160, $200 and $240
"The Hero's Blood on Mount Pipa"
November 5 (Tuesday), 7.30pm
Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre
Tickets: $100, $160, $200 and $260
Tickets 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 full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis).
For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325; for ticketing enquiries, please call 2734 9009. For telephone credit card booking, please call 2111 5999. Internet booking is available at www.urbtix.hk . For more information, please visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/chinese_opera/program_332.html .
A free "Post-performance Meet-the-artist Session" conducted in Cantonese will be held to tie in with the programmes and limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details are as follows:
November 16 (Saturday), 2.30pm
AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speakers: Song Hongbo and Wan Fei-yin
Ends/Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 14:54