Shining Together, Hong Kong & Taiwan - Cantonese, Peking and Kunqu Opera Extravaganza
by The Young Academy Cantonese Opera Troupe,
GuoGuang Opera Company of Taiwan
|Date||12/9-10 Sat-Sun 7:30pm|
|Location||Experimental Theater, The Xiqu Center of Taiwan|
|Duration||Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
(with a 15-minute interval)
|Language||In Cantonese and Mandarin with Chinese & English surtitles|
|Programme Enquiries||(886) 2 2555 0288
(852) 2584 8972
|Co-presented & Performed by||
|Jointly performed by|
Renowned Veterans Join Forces with Newcomers in Cantonese, Peking and Kunqu Opera Crossover
Dedicated to the nurturing of professional Cantonese Opera actors and musicians, as well as the continuation of traditional operatic arts, The Young Academy Cantonese Opera Troupe has been committed to expanding creative freedom in Cantonese Opera since its establishment. Aspiring young actors and musicians as well as teachers and graduates of the Academy School of Chinese Opera from The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts will team up with GuoGuang Opera Company of Taiwan, a two-time supporter of the ‘Hong Kong Week’. United by the belief that different operatic genres can facilitate intergenerational and cross-regional exchange, they will take turns to bring audiences the best of Cantonese, Peking, and Kunqu operas in a call-response style performance. Taiwanese fans will be treated to well-known excerpts from timeless classics such as The Purple Hairpin and The Red Plum.
Chinese Opera: Yang Wulang Saving His Younger Brother performed by Hong Hoi, Wang Zhiliang
Cantonese, Peking and Kunqu opera versions of The Purple Hairpin
Peking Opera: Dress Up performed by Ling Chia-lin
Cantonese Opera: Encounter with Hero in front of Flowers performed by Chen Huijian, Lin Yingshi
Kunqu Opera: Farewell at the Yang Pass performed by Wen Yuhang
Cantonese Opera: Lodging at the Inn from Havoc at Guang Chang Long performed by Chen Huijian, Lin Xiaoye
Cantonese and Peking opera versions of The Red Plum
Peking Opera: Ghost’s Lament performed by Wang Yao-hsing
Cantonese Opera: Rescuing Pei from Trap performed by Mo Huamin and Xie Xiaoyu
Peking Opera Farewell performed by Wang Yao-hsing and Chang Chia-lin
For this year’s “Hong Kong Week”, the troupe has chosen to perform ‘Rescuing Pei from Trap’ from The Red Plum, ‘Encounter with Hero in front of Flowers’ from The Purple Hairpin, ‘Lodging at the Inn’ from Havoc at Guang Chang Long, and Yang Wulang Saving His Younger Brother. The first two are posthumous works of celebrated Hong Kong playwright, Tong Dik-sang. As part of Sin Fung Ming Opera Troupe’s repertoire, they have become two of the most well-known productions in Hong Kong since its première in the 1950s, and continue to be loved by audiences today.
The Red Plum, meanwhile, was adapted from the eponymous play written by renowned dramatist Zhou Chaojun. There are distinct differences in terms of both characters and plot in the operatic version, in which the mockery of Jia Sidao’s political consciousness helps underscore Pei Yu’s loyalty to his lover. In ‘Rescuing Pei from Trap’, the frightened scholar is confronted by the ghost of Li Huiniang – she demands that he die to be with her, and he accepts. The poignant dialogue between the lovers is taken to another level through the amalgamation of singing, acting and staging. The ups and downs which follow this near-death experience take audiences on an emotional rollercoaster ride, while also highlighting the actors’ all-round competence. In contrast to the portrayal of the protagonist’s amorous loyalty in the aforementioned play, ‘Encounter with Hero in front of Flowers’ and ‘Lodging at the Inn’ depict acts of heroic intervention in the face of injustice.
The Purple Hairpin by Tang Xianzu is a story about the pledge of love between a scholar and a lady. Tong Dik-sang’s brilliant adaptation injects new life into the legendary play. The intertwining of Huo Xiaoyu’s woeful, melancholic, and touching songs with Huang Shanke’s poised and powerful spoken dialogue, as well as the illustration of character conflict and dramatic treatment, brings the playwright’s talent into the light! Traditional operas have always reflected the perspectives, customs, and way of life of the people. Through skilful operatic treatment, even chairs and ladders can add vitality to the characters’ personalities. ‘Lodging at the Inn’ from Havoc at Guang Chang Long is a Cantonese ghost story which has been circulating for generations. This particular excerpt tells of the chance encounter between Liu Junxian, a small fry who sells woollen threads, and the ghost of Liao Xiaoqiao, a woman who died an unjust death, at an inn. The director combines Cantonese customs, the clever use of action sequences involving chairs and ladders, as well as ribbon dancing , to aptly interpret the idea of change being the only constant in life.
Cantonese Opera is a major category in Chinese Opera which has its origins in Lingnan. It has always been known for its loud gongs and drums, as well as the genuine physical confrontation rather than decorative gestures. The traditional play Yang Wulang Saving His Younger Brother features all these artistic characteristics. In addition to arias sung in the high-pitched Bangzi vocal style and dialogue spoken in the traditional Zhongzhou tone, luohan techniques have been incorporated into the performance to express Yang’s cynicism towards the world and the solid bond between him and his father. This work embodies the quaint and rustic charms of traditional opera, and makes viewers feel as if they have been pulled into the tides of history.
Artistic Director, The Young Academy Cantonese Opera Troupe
Talk on “How Tong Dik-sang changed Cantonese Opera”
The talk will cover how Tong Dik-sang changed Cantonese Opera. There is also a demonstration of The Fragrant of Death from Cantonese Opera Princess Chang Ping.
12/6 Tue 7pm
3201 Multi-functional Hall, The Xiqu Center of Taiwan
Speaker: Dr. Fredric Mao, Convener of Hong Kong-Taiwan Cultural Co-operation Committee and Founding Dean of the School of Chinese Opera, The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
Online registration: https://goo.gl/forms/ScJFkz3zUjecHxu92
The Xiqu Center of Taiwan
No. 751, Wenlin Road, Shilin District, Taipei City
(886) 2 2555 0288
Tickets on sale now
Booking Hotline: (886) 2 3393 9888