The Kim Sang Fai Cantonese Opera Troupe will perform the renowned repertoires "The Sword of a Loyal Family" and "The Headstrong Husband and His Resourceful Wife" in September. Both include impressive acrobatic fighting scenes.
"The Sword of a Loyal Family" will be staged at 7.30pm on September 5 (Friday) at the Auditorium of Tsuen Wan Town Hall. The story begins when Lord Long agrees to lend his family's heirloom, a sword with a hidden blade, for the assassination of Meng Kui, who has colluded with pirates. He sends his son Jialie as the assassin. While saying farewell to his lover, Xiang Ruyu, Jialie gives her a jade pendant as a keepsake.
Jialie gets close to Meng but is unfortunately driven off a cliff. Meng orders his subordinates to search for the assassin, but the body retrieved from below the cliff has been defaced. Meng hangs the head high and offers a bounty to whoever recognises its identity. At the news of the death, Ruyu hurries to the camp, but has to fight hard to free herself from the enemy's ambush. She drops her pendant and Meng, recognising one of the Long family's treasures, now knows where the assassin came from.
Meng concludes that Jialie was the assassin on the evidence of the jade pendant, and gives Lord Long five days to surrender Jialie, otherwise the whole family will be incriminated and punished by death. Lord Long decides to mobilise the entire family to fight the villain and die if necessary for an honourable cause.
An injured Jialie suddenly appears. It transpires that Ruyu's brother Ling died in his place, and before killing himself had his own face totally disfigured. Jialie learns of Meng's return route via the treacherous Bolang Cliff. As the only one who knows the short-cut to the plank road on the cliff, Lord Long takes up arms and leads his men in laying an ambush. Meng's army is duly trapped and Meng is finally killed.
The second performance, "The Headstrong Husband and His Resourceful Wife", will be staged at 7.30pm on September 13 (Saturday) at the Auditorium of Tai Po Civic Centre. The story takes place as Hong Tianbao's family has fallen on hard times, and he is left with no choice but to sell the family heirloom, a precious sword, to fund his journey to the capital for the civil examination. By chance he meets Li Deru, who generously gives him some money collected from debtors. But the money is seized by bandits. While giving chase, the two meet Jingniang, daughter of Ge Daxiong, the minister who holds sway at the imperial court. Jingniang falls in love with Hong at first sight, and Ge, recognising Hong's talent, offers him his daughter's hand.
Two years later, Hong has left home after marrying Jingniang and has spent most of this time fighting as Ge’s vanguard general. He now plans to return to the capital to be with Jingniang again. Li by chance learns of Ge's plan to usurp the throne by assassinating the emperor. He tells Jingniang of this, and in order to protect Hong from being implicated in this capital crime, Jingniang pretends to be having an affair with Li. In a rage, Hong writes a letter of divorce, and Jingniang is expelled from home by her own father.
Ge's plot to assassinate the Song emperor and his empress is thwarted by Hong who happens to be passing by. He is rewarded with a high position in the imperial court. Jingniang and Li however are now leading a destitute life in their home village. On her way to pick firewood, Jingniang is punished for blocking a lord's way – and he is none other than Hong. He flies into a rage and wants to inflict heavy punishment on her and Li, only to find out later when Ge is arrested that Jingniang has been protecting him all along. He is filled with regret and asks for her forgiveness. Jingniang pleads for mercy from the emperor who commutes her father's death sentence.
The cast includes Man Kim-fei, Cheng Wing-mui, Liu Kowk-sum, Lui Hung-kwong, Leung Wai-hong, Wai Tsun-long and Ko Lai.
The performances by Kim Sang Fai Cantonese Opera Troupe are presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets ranging from $100 to $240 are now available at URBTIX. 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.)
A post-performance talk (conducted in Cantonese) will be held at 2.30pm on September 20 (Saturday) at AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Speakers will include Man Kim-fei and Ko Lai. Admission is free with limited seats 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_569.html. Ticketing enquiries can be made on 3761 6661 and telephone credit card bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at www.urbtix.hk.
Ends/Friday, July 11, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:45