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National Class performers present modern Peking operas

The Peking Opera Theatre of Shanghai will present four major revolutionary modern Peking operas with National Class One performers, Shang Changrong, Shi Yihong (Shi Min), Li Jun, Tang Yuancai, He Shu, Hu Xuan and Zhao Qun in Hong Kong in July.

The repertoire includes a full-length performance of "The Azalea Mountain", the best-known revolutionary modern Peking opera, "Taking Tiger Mountain by Stratagem", and excerpts from "The Red Lantern" and "Sha-Jia-Bang". The performances will be accompanied by a 50-member symphony and Chinese orchestra.

"The Azalea Mountain" is about Lei Gang, leader of a peasants' self-defence corps, and Ke Xiang of the Communist Party who plan to attack their enemies. Unfortunately, Lei is captured and put into prison. Ke leads a squad to rescue Lei at midnight and finally annihilates the enemy.

Excerpts from "The Red Lantern" is about Li Yuhe, an underground agent during the Sino-Japanese War, who is betrayed and arrested. Li and his mother are killed violently. Li's daughter, Tiemei, helps deliver telegraph codes to the guerillas in Baishan. By cracking the coded information, they defeat the Japanese.

Excerpts from "Sha-Jia-Bang" is about A Qing's Wife, a liaison officer, who operates a teahouse as a decoy in Shajiabang during the Sino-Japanese War. The Red Army leaves behind 18 wounded soldiers in her secret care. The enemy attacks the teahouse but was destroyed by A Qing's wife.

"Taking Tiger Mountain by Stratagem" is about a scout platoon leader, Yang Zirong, who disguises himself as a bandit and goes up the mountain. A pursuit detachment sets up a garrison at Jiapi Valley and finally defeats the bandits.

Peking Opera Theatre of Shanghai is designated as a national key troupe of Peking Opera by the Ministry of Culture of China. The troupe has toured more than 20 countries with great success.

Details of the performances are as follows:

July 4 (Friday)
"The Azalea Mountain"

July 5 (Saturday)
Excerpts from "The Red Lantern", "Sha-Jia-Bang"

July 6 (Sunday)
"Taking Tiger Mountain by Stratagem"

Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, "Modern Peking Opera" will be at 7.30pm at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $100, $180, $240 and $350, are now available at URBTIX outlets. Senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are entitled to 50% off (limited quotas for students and CSSA recipients on a first-come, first-served basis). Group booking discounts are available. Please check the programme leaflet. Lyrics and dialogue will be provided with Chinese and 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, May 14, 2008

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