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Star-studded Peking opera gala showcases in April

An array of big names in present Peking opera and brought together by the Peking Opera Theatre of Beijing, will visit Hong Kong to perform in "Peking Opera Gala" showcasing the richly diverse styles from the traditional repertoire.

The star-studded show will take place at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre at 7.30pm from April 25 to 27 (Monday to Wednesday), featuring "A Right Royal Match" on April 25, "Qin Xianglian" on April 26 and excerpts from various operas on April 27. The first show will be broadcast live on China Central Television.

Performing in the gala will be Li Shiji, Tan Yuanshou, Zhang Xuejin, Ye Shaolan, Wang Rongrong, Geng Qichang, Tan Xiaozeng, Zhang Jianguo, An Ping, Li Weikang, Yuan Huiqin and Wang Lijun.

Established in 1979, the Peking Opera Theatre of Beijing is the largest Peking Opera performing group in China. It has a legacy of artistic excellence by some of the greatest names in Chinese opera - Mei Lanfang, Shang Xiaoyun, Cheng Yanqiu, Xun Huisheng (the four greats in huadan or female lead roles), Ma Lianliang, Tan Fuying, Zhang Junqiu, Qiu Shengrong and Zhao Yanxia.

The superb stagecraft and achievements of these outstanding performing artists account for their pre-eminence in the field. The company has many award-winning productions, such as the contemporary historical play, "The Saga of Tong Ren Tang", "The Hunchback Prime Minister", "Mei Lanfang" among others.

The company has toured some 50 countries and has won critical and popular acclaim in China and abroad.

"Peking Opera Gala", with simplified subtitles in English, is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets priced at $100, $180, $240 and $320 are available at URBTIX outlets. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients (limited tickets for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). A 10% discount applies to Friends of LCSD performing venues. There will also be group booking discounts: 10% for four to nine tickets, 15% for 10 to 19 tickets, 20% for 20 tickets or more.

For programme enquiries, call 2268 7323 or visit . Ticketing enquiries and reservations can be made on 2734 9009 and credit card telephone bookings on 2111 5999. Tickets can also be booked online at .

Ends/Thursday, March 17, 2005

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