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Koon Kin Kuen Cantonese Opera Troupe to stage premiere in January

     The Koon Kin Kuen Cantonese Opera Troupe will perform three Cantonese operas in January. They include the premiere of a "new" opera, "The Scholar Who Comes Top with a Blank Examination Paper", the script to which was lost for years but has now been recompiled and edited by Jiang Shi-ping, Tian Lai and Lung Koon-tin. The other operas are "A Mismatched Couple" and "The Romantic Emperor". The main cast for these presentations includes Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan, Chan Hung-chun, Lui Hung-kwong, Chan Ka-ming and Sun Kim-long.

     "The Scholar Who Comes Top with a Blank Examination Paper" first focuses on Liu Yuchan, a renowned courtesan in Jiangnan. She is talented and beautiful with a chaste reputation. Chen Zhongwen, who comes from a rich family, has made every effort to win Yuchan's heart but fails. Zhongwen's cousin, Mai Yunfeng, encourages Zhongwen to sit the national examination with him. However, Zhongwen has no desire to achieve success in the examination because he has failed to win Yuchan's love. Yunfeng tries to persuade Zhongwen that courtesans are greedy for money and insincere in love. Zhongwen decides to disguise himself as a member of a wealthy family and to test Yuchan by visiting the Scented House. They fall in love at first sight and even pledge to marry each other. Later, during the interview of examination at the imperial hall, the royal princess falls for Yunfeng. Even though Yunfeng submits a blank examination paper intentionally, she still chooses him as her husband. Now facing the chance of fame and fortune, will Yunfeng change his mind about royalty?

     "A 'Mismatched' Couple" begins with herbalist Jia Shanren, who finds an abandoned baby girl on the street during wartime. The foundling has the word "zhen" (chastity) tattooed on her right arm. She also carries a letter saying that she is the daughter of Marshal Guo. Rufeng grows into a beautiful young woman. She loves Vice Marshal Wenlong but Jia wants her to marry Prince Zhao. Later, Lu, who is a military staff officer, comes to propose marriage on Wenlong's behalf. When he sees the tattoo on her arm he realises that Rufeng is the daughter of Marshal Guo. This means that Rufeng and Wenlong are siblings, so they cannot marry.

     The "The Romantic Emperor" is about Meng Lijun, a talented woman who disguises herself as a man and later becomes prime minister. Emperor Chengzong suspects that Lijun is in fact a woman and wants to take her as his concubine. Huangfu Shaohua, Lijun's fianc, falls ill as he misses her company. His father, Huangfu Jingzhong, asks Lijun to come to his residence to help Shaohua. Later, the emperor seeks to win Lijun's favour by giving her a gift. He proposes to her but she turns him down. The emperor is furious and tries to impose a charge on her at the imperial palace.

     Details of performance are as follows:

A new Cantonese Opera "The Scholar Who Comes Top with a Blank Examination Paper"
January 10, 2014 (Friday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall

January 18, 2014 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall

"A 'Mismatched' Couple"
January 11, 2014 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tai Po Civic Centre

"The Romantic Emperor"
January 17, 2014 (Friday) 7.30pm
Auditorium, Yuen Long Theatre

     Tickets priced from $100 to $260 are now available at all URBTIX outlets, on 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 bookings, please call 2111 5999. Internet bookings are available at . For more information, please visit .

     A post-performance talk conducted in Cantonese will be held at 7.30pm on January 27, 2014 (Monday) at AC2, 4/F, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Speakers include Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan, Jiang Shi-ping and Tian Lai. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ends/Friday, November 29, 2013
Issued at HKT 10:00


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