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A Showcase of Comic Role Characters in Kunqu Opera

"A Showcase of Comic Role Characters in Kunqu Opera" by Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe will be presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department in June as a centenary tribute to Kunqu maestro Wang Chuansong.

In order to tie in with the theme, all works chosen are focused on comic roles, such as "Fifteen Strings of Cash", "Stealing the Precious Armour" from "The Precious Armour", "The Wedding Night" from "The Mismatches Caused by a Kite", "Abandoning the Temples" from "The Mortal Foibles", and "The Drunken Messenger" from "The Story of the Red Pear Blossoms".

Renowned Kunqu maestros Wang Shiyao, Liu Yilong, Lin Jifan, Zhang Mingrong, Fan Jixin, Tao Bo will be in Hong Kong to perform in the showcase.

Kunqu opera, the oldest genres of opera in China with a history of more than 500 years, was honored by UNESCO in 2001 as one of 19 outstanding cultural forms of expression from different regions of the world "Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity". The dialogue in Kunqu Opera is poetic and refined. It is also famous for its music and its poetical style of wording.

Zhejiang Kunqu Opera Troupe was formerly the Guofeng Suju Troupe. In 1955, the Guofeng Troupe staged a revised version of the classical Kunqu Opera, "Fifteen Strings of Cash". The whole country was impressed by the sophisticated nature of the art form, and The People's Daily, in a special feature on the phenomenon, attributed it as "one single show saved a whole genre of operatic art." Following this rave, Kunqu Opera troupes emerged all over China, launching the art into a new age of development.

Performances will be at 7:30pm from June 2 to 4. Details are as follows:

June 2, 2005 (Thursday) Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
"Stealing the Precious Armour" from "The Precious Armour";
"The Wedding Night" from "The Mismatches Caused by a Kite";
"The First Encounter at the Temple" from "The Story of the West Chamber";
"The Poisoned Mutton Soup" from "The Story of the Golden Locket";
"Meeting in the Catkin Marshes" from "The Story of the Leaping Carps"

June 3, 2005 (Friday) Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
"Abandoning the Temples" from "The Mortal Foibles";
"The Drunken Messenger" from "The Story of the Red Pear Blossoms";
"At the Needlework Room" from "The Story of the Wooden Hairpin";
"The Ravings of a Mad Monk" from "Conspiracy by the Eastern Window";
"Catching Sanlang Alive" from "The Water Margin"

June 4, 2005 (Saturday) Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
"Fifteen Strings of Cash"

Tickets priced at $100 to $320 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 Assistance recipients. For details of group booking discount schemes, please refer to the programme leaflet. Lyrics and dialogue will have Chinese and simplified English surtitles.

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

Ends/Wednesday, April 20, 2005

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