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Operatic troupe from Hubei to perform Chu and Han Operas


The Regional Operatic Arts Theatre of Hubei Province will soon give three Chinese operatic performances in Hong Kong.

Backed by numerous National Class One performers, the group will present a showcase of Chu and Han operas at the Theatre of the Hong Kong City Hall. Details are as follows:

September 1 (Monday) 7.30pm

Chu Opera - "Standing by a Garden Wall", "Love for a Hundred Days", "Forcing a Divorce", "Hurrying to the Rendezvous"

Cast: Zhang Qiaozhen, Peng Qinglian, Zhan Chunyao, Chen Changxi, Liu Jiajun, Zhang Hong.

September 2 (Tuesday) 7.30pm

Han Opera - "Farwell at Chongtai", "Beating the Flower Drum", "The Cosmo Sword"

Cast: Cheng Caiping, Liu Jiajun, Jin Rongxia, Cai Yan, Li Ruiming.

September 3 (Wednesday) 7.30pm

Han Opera - "Catching Sanlang Alive" (Playing a Ghost)

Cast: Jin Rongxia, Li Ruiming

Chu Opera - "The Butterfly Cup"

Cast: Zhang Qiaozhen, Peng Qinglian, Zhan Chunyao

Lyrics and dialogue with Chinese and English surtitles will be available for each performance.

The Regional Operatic Arts Theatre of Hubei Province was established in 2000 as a result of the merger of the Chu Opera Theatre with the Han Opera Theatre of Hubei province. Its Han Opera boasts a strong cast of artists, including Cheng Caiping, Xiang Yang, Yun Zhangxu and Jin Rongxia, and a popular repertoire, with pieces such as "The Cosmo Sword", "The Drunken Royal Concubine" and "Catching Sanlang Alive". Their overseas performances in Singapore and Taiwan have won critical acclaim. As for the Chu Opera arm, it is strongly supported by Xiong Jianshao and Zhang Qiaozhen, as well as many young artists like Peng Qinglian, Zhan Chunyao and Chen Changxi. The company has won many awards, including the Wenhua Award, the Outstanding Repertoire Award at the National Chinese Operatic Showcase and a Class One Award at the Chu Opera Arts Festival. Its stock repertoire includes "The Butterfly Cup", "A Lesson for the Princess" and "Pining for Love".

With a history of over 100 years, Chu Opera is an operatic genre commonly found in Hubei. In its earliest format, only one principal would sing while the rest would sing the refrain or as respondents. The accompaniment was by gongs and drums that were later changed to strings. As time went on, its music tempo and form became richer in variety. Found in the provinces of Hubei, Henan, Shanxi, Hunan, Guangdong and Fujian in China, Han Opera has a history of more than 300 years. There are 10 role types in Han Opera, namely mo, jing, sheng, dan, chou, wai, xiao, tie, fu and za.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, tickets priced at $200, $140 and $80 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistant (CSSA) recipients (Limited student and CSSA tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount is also available for Friends of Leisure and Cultural Services performing venues. There will also be various ticketing concessions: 10% discount for every purchase of four to nine tickets, 15% for 10 to 19 tickets and 20% for 20 tickets or more; 10% discount for each purchase of "Regional Operatic Arts Theatre of Hubei Province" and Experimental Peking Opera "King Chu Bidding Farewell to His Concubine" or 15% discount for each purchase of three or more performances, including "Regional Operatic Arts Theatre of Hubei Province" and Experimental Peking Opera "King Chu Bidding Farewell to His Concubine". Patrons can receive only one of the above discounts for each purchase.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323 or visit Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone booking on 2111 5999.

End/Tuesday, July 15, 2003

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