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Unique Jiangnan operatic genres to be showcased

Xi Opera Troupe of Jiangsu, Lu Opera Theatre of Hefei of Anhui and Wu Opera Troupe of Zhejiang will stage in Hong Kong from June to August a Jiangnan opera series, performing three kinds of Jiangnan operas.

Lu Opera is the vernacular opera of the main regions of Anhui with a history of over 200 years. The vocalisation is divided mainly into huaqiang (or coloratura) and zhudiao (or main melody). "Zhudiao" can be balladic or lyrical, and is for expressing the complex and dramatic emotions, while "huaqiang" is mostly folk songs. The singing of traditional Lu Opera is accompanied by the percussions generally referred to as "gongs and drums".

Wu Opera, also known as Jinhua Opera, is the second major operatic genre in Zhejiang, and has a 400-year history. Its name originated from Wuzhou, which was the former name of Jinhua in Chinese history. While it contains six vocal styles, it belongs mainly to luantan.

Chinese opera lovers may enjoy the company's outstanding excerpts and repertoire especially "On Broken Bridge". The excerpt represents the outstanding features of Wu Opera, and it involves performing civil plays through martial art skills, which makes it one of the best-known excerpts in the Chinese Opera.

The best Wu opera talents to perform will include Wu Guangyu (Guest), Chen Meilan, Zhang Jianmin, Zhu Yuanhao, Zhou Zhiqing, Miao Nen, Liu Zhihong.

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the programme will be staged in July and August. Details are as follows:

Lu Opera Theatre of Hefei of Anhui
July 15 (Friday) The Poetess Li Qingzhao
July 16 (Saturday) The Legend of the White Snake Retold
7.30pm Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall

Wu Opera Troupe of Zhejiang
August 29 (Monday) Excerpts from the Opera
August 30 (Tuesday) Excerpts from the Opera
August 31 (Wednesday) "A Florid Interlude" (music), "The Substituted Marriages between Two Sisters"
7.30pm Theatre, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre

Tickets priced at $200, $150, $100 are now available at all URBTIX outlets. A group discount for the series, "Chinese Regional Opera of Jiangnan", is provided. For each purchase of 4-9 tickets: 10% off; 10-19 tickets: 15% off; 20 or more tickets: 20% off. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. For further programme details, please refer to the programme leaflet.

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 .

"Xi Opera Troupe of Jiangsu" will also be invited to perform for the series "Chinese Regional Opera of Jiangnan" in June.

Ends/Friday, May 20, 2005
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