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February
Award-winning Yue opera troupe to perform in HK
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The Xiaobaihua Troupe of the Hangzhou Yue Opera Theatre will perform in Hong Kong from April 26 to 28.

The troupe has a history of more than 40 years and boasts a rich repertoire of traditional and modern works. And the experienced cast, brought to Hong Kong by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will offer audiences a different performance on each of the three nights:

Monday, April 26 - Full-length opera, "The Jade Hairpin"
Tuesday, April 27 - Full-length opera, "For the Love of Pear Blossom"
Wednesday, April 28 - Excerpts from a number of operas

"For the Love of Pear Blossom" won the Eighth Wenhua New Repertory Award, 11 awards at the Fifth China Theatre Festival, the Five "One" Project Award, and a Lu Xun Literature and the Arts Award for Outstanding Achievement. "Good staging, good directing, good acting, good singing, good dancing and good music," remarked Gong Xueping, Vice Secretary General of the Municipal Party Committee of Shanghai, after watching the opera. Renowned Yue opera artist Wang Wenjuan was also deeply impressed by the performance. "It has touched our hearts with its description of love through the story, the acting and the singing," she said.

Another attraction, "The Jade Hairpin", has also been well received by audiences. Xie Qunying, trained in the artistic lineage of Jin Caifeng, won a Gold Award at the China Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Festival in 1994 for her performance in an excerpt from the opera. Her grasp of characterisation is superb, as are her skills as a dancer and singer.

On the third night, the troupe will perform excerpts from the operas, "Trapped under the Alms Bowl" from "The Legend of the White Snake"; "Returning to the Palace on a Rampage" from "Beating the Princess"; "Indictment in the Human World" from "Trials of Love"; and "Peony in a Word Play", "The Fortune-teller from He Wenxiu", "Luring the Soul of Her Lover" and "Recalling Eighteen Scenes" from "The Butterfly Lovers".

Many among the troupe's talented cast are winners of major awards in national and provincial competitions, including three bronze, five silver and one gold at the China Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Festival in 1994, which made the troupe the overall champion at the event.

Those appearing in the Hong Kong performances include National Class One Performers Xie Qunying, Chen Xiaohong, Chen Xueping; Shi Huilan, Wu Lingzhu and Ye Huiping.

Performances will be staged at 7.30pm at the Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall. Tickets priced at $280, $220, $160 and $100 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students, and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis). Please check programme leaflets for other discount schemes.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323; for ticketing enquiries and reservations, call 2734 9009; for credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999; for more information, visit http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/cp .

Ends/Thursday, February 26, 2004
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