New Cantonese opera "The Birthday Banquets" to premiere in January

     The Hong Kong Young Talent Cantonese Opera Troupe will perform a new Cantonese opera, "The Birthday Banquets", in January and February. The cast includes Lam Tin-yau, Cheng Nga-kei, Lai Yiu-wai, Lam Tsz-ching, Yuen Sin-ting, Wong Kit-ching, Kwan Hoi-shan, Wong Po-hyun, Hong Wah and guest performer Chan Hung-chun.

     "The Birthday Banquets" is written by renowned Cantonese opera actor Sun Kim-long. It tells the story of Yang Jikang, a retired government official who has five daughters. All but his foster daughter Sanchun are married to the sons of officials' families. Sanchun marries Zou Yinglong, a scholar, because she admires his literary talents. On Jikang's birthday, his daughters and their husbands all bring generous gifts to the celebration except for Sanchun and her husband. The couple arrives at the banquet empty-handed because of a robbery and they are therefore snubbed by the other family members.

     Good times do not last long for Jikang, who during his tenure of office has offended a powerful official, Yan Song. The imperial court then orders the confiscation of all of Jikang's property. Having nowhere to stay, Jikang seeks help from his daughters but is turned away by his sons-in-law. He has no alternative but to go to his foster daughter Sanchun for shelter. Though poverty-stricken, Sanchun shows filial affection for Jikang, who brought her up. After long years of hard study, Yinglong wins first place in the highest imperial examination and is appointed as a top-rank official. This happens just when Jikang's birthday comes around and a grand banquet is held. Jikang's sons-in-law endeavour to curry favour with Yinglong and go to the birthday banquet to offer their congratulations. Being understanding, broad-minded and tolerant, Yinglong welcomes his brothers-in-law. The story thus comes to a happy ending.

     Details of the performance are as follows:

January 14 (Saturday), 7.30pm
Auditorium, Tai Po Civic Centre

February 29 (Wednesday), 7.30pm
Theatre, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre

     The new Cantonese opera "The Birthday Banquets" by the Hong Kong Young Talent Cantonese Opera Troupe is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets priced from $100 to $220 are available at all URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by credit card telephone booking. Half-price tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients (limited tickets for full-time students and CSSA recipients available on a first-come, first-served basis).

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7325; for ticketing enquiries, call 2734 9009. For credit card telephone booking, call 2111 5999. Internet booking is available at For more information, visit .

     A free-admission pre-performance talk, with limited seats available on a first-come, first-served basis, will be held (in Cantonese) for this programme:

February 26 (Sunday), 2.30pm
Room AC2, 4/F Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speakers: Sun Kim-long and members of the troupe

Ends/Monday, December 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 11:26