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Kunqu virtuosi to perform in August


"Jiangsu Kunqu Opera Institute - Kunqu: A Showcase of Excerpts from Southern Legendary Opera and Northern Yuan Mixed-drama" will be presented August 1-3, featuring a host of Kunqu virtuosi, including Shi Xiaomei, Hu Jinfang, Ke Jun from the Jiangsu Kunqu Opera Institute and guest performers Wang Shiyu, Hou Shaokui, Cai Yaoxian and Zhang Yuwen.

The performances are presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department under the "Arts Care" ticket discount scheme.

Shi Xiaomei, a National Class One Performer, was trained in xiaosheng (young male lead) roles and is famed for her virtuosity.

Hu Jinfang, a National Class One Performer, was trained in various sub-genres of dan (female) roles. Her repertoire includes "A Poem on The Peony Pavilion" and "Killing a Tiger".

Wang Shiyu, a National Class One Performer, specialises in xiaosheng roles. He is a disciple of the renowned Zhou Chuanying and is especially esteemed for his jinsheng (scholar) roles.

Hou Shaokui, National Class One Performer of the Northern Kun Opera Theatre, is widely acclaimed for his rich, powerful voice and his sensitive interpretations and vivid portrayals. He has been dubbed "China's One and Only" for bringing the valiant general Guan Yu to life.

Cai Yaoxian is a National Class One Performer of the Northern Kun Opera Theatre specializing in guimendan (high-born lady) and zhengdan (female lead) roles. Cai has a subtle, introspective performing style characterised by great sensitivity and heart-felt emotions. Her repertoire includes "The Peony Pavilion", "The Injustice Done to Dou E" and "A Woman Singer".

Zhang Yuwen, National Class One Performer of the Northern Kun Opera Theatre, was trained in the roles of guimendan, daomadan (female roles specialising in fighting with weapons and riding), zhengdan and cishadan (female assassin). Zhang has a broad range, a sonorous voice, immaculate enunciation and great feminine appeal. She has dedicated herself to the teaching and promotion of the Kunqu art.

It is not every day that one finds three major Kunqu companies - the Jiangsu Kunqu Opera Institute, the Northern Kun Opera Theatre and Zhejiang Kunqu Operatic Troupe - sharing the same stage. Nor is it common to see so many winners of the Plum Blossom Award in action at one time.

Performances take place at 7.30pm August 1 to 3 (Friday to Sunday) at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $320, $240, $180 and $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Under the "Arts Care" scheme, a 20% discount applies to each purchase of four to seven tickets, while a 40% discount applies to each purchase of eight tickets or more.

The "Arts Care" scheme is also applicable to patrons who enjoy other ticketing concessions: half-price for full-time students, senior citizens, people with disabilities and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients, and 10% off for Friends of LCSD performing venues.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999; for more information, visit

Pre-performance talks (in Putonghua) by Shi Xiaomei, Wang Shiyu, Hou Shaokui, Cai Yaoxian, Ke Jun and Hu Jinfang will take place at 7.30 pm from July 29-31 (Tuesday to Thursday) at AC1, Administraton Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Admission is free. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The "Arts Care" scheme also includes Hotel and Food and Beverage Offers. Information can be obtained from performing venues or at

End/Wednesday, July 16, 2003

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