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Chinese Opera Festival 2014 to present diversity of regional opera and vernacular music

     Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the fifth Chinese Opera Festival will be held from June 20 to August 30, featuring numerous operatic productions that will showcase the diversity of regional opera and vernacular music. The LCSD invites music lovers to come and share the marvellous amalgamation of ethnic theatre and music that is Chinese opera.

     The Chinese Opera Festival 2014 will stage 10 Chinese opera programmes and fringe activities. Pei Yanling, esteemed as a "true treasure of China and humankind" for her virtuosity in traditional theatre, will open the Festival alongside top performers from the Peking Opera Research Centre of Hebei. Four representative "xiaosheng" (young male roles) actors in Yue opera - Zhao Zhigang, Wu Fenghua, Zhang Xiaojun and Xu Biaoxin - will partner with some of the best "dan" (female roles) actors to present gems in Yue opera, including the well-known work "The Butterfly Lovers".

     Famous Cantonese opera actor Sun Kim-long has written the new play "Investigation to Redress a Wrong", which follows the tradition of the formulaic plays in Cantonese opera called "paichang". The production will feature stars including Lee Lung, Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan and Lui Hung-kwong.

     Leung So-kam, the daughter of famous Cantonese aria singer Leung Yee-chung, has curated the concerts of "Reverberating Notes from South China - Highlights of the Eight Classic Pieces" to showcase salvaged operatic classics from South China with herself as Artistic Director. Local stars of Cantonese opera including Law Kar-ying, Yuen Siu-fai, Liu Kwok-sum and Cheng Wing-mui will be performing the full-length production of "Lulang Reprimands His Son", while Leung Chi-kit, Ting Oi-lin, Sun Kim-long, Ho Ka-yiu and others will present arias and excerpts from the Eight Classic Pieces.

     For Kunqu opera performances, Tang Yuen-ha and Geng Tianyuan of the Jingkun Theatre of Hong Kong, together with Kunqu opera virtuosi Hou Shaokui, Cai Zhengren, Lu Yongchang and the cast of the Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre, will be performing the full-length opera "Wu Song and Pan Jinlian" and excerpts. The Zhejiang Yongjia Kunqu Opera Troupe, a company famous for its southern opera repertory, will perform "The Number One Scholar Zhang Xie" and excerpts from traditional opera.

     The Festival will also offer several regional operas that are distinguished by their vernacular character. The Yunnan Dian Opera Theatre will make its debut in Hong Kong by presenting the "sixian" (string), huqin and Xiangyang local styles in their traditional repertory. Zeng Jingping, a famous artist in the Liyuan genre (also known as "pear garden opera"), will be performing with the Experimental Theatre of Liyuan Opera of Fujian works from the Shanglu, Xianan and Xiaoliyuan stylistic schools. The Haifeng Baizi Opera Troupe of Guangdong will present a full-length production, "Chrysanthemum", and popular excerpts from the traditional repertoire. Among these works, one can find the unique delivery of lines, singing and music of Baizi opera. A famous artist in Yu opera of Henan, Li Shujian, will lead the No.2 Troupe of Yu Opera Theatre of Henan in a production of "The Breezy Pavilion" as well as excerpts from the traditional repertoire.

     Details of the performances are as follows:

Peking Opera Research Centre of Hebei
June 20 to 22     Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural

Four Stylistic Schools of Xiaosheng Roles in
Yue Opera
June 25 to 28     Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural
June 29           Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall

A New Cantonese Opera "Investigation to Redress
a Wrong"
July 4 to 6       Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre

"Reverberating Notes from South China - Highlights
of the Eight Classic Pieces"
July 8 and 9      Theatre, Yau Ma Tei Theatre
July 30 and 31    Auditorium, Sha Tin Town Hall

Zhejiang Yongjia Kunqu Opera Troupe
July 17 to 19     Theatre, Yau Ma Tei Theatre

Yunnan Dian Opera Theatre
July 22 and 23    Theatre, Hong Kong City Hall

Experimental Theatre of Liyuan Opera of Fujian
July 25 to 27     Theatre, Yau Ma Tei Theatre

Haifeng Baizi Opera Troupe of Guangdong
August 2 and 3    Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre

No.2 Troupe of Yu Opera Theatre of Henan
August 12 and 13  Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre

Jingkun Theatre
August 29 and 30  Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall

     Tickets for the Chinese Opera Festival 2014 will be available tomorrow (April 11) at 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.) Please refer to the programme booklet for group booking discount schemes.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit For ticketing enquiries, please call 3761 6661. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

     Other than stage performances, there will be talks on specific themes and art forms, Chinese opera film screenings, talks given by artists and exhibitions. One of the highlights of the activity programme is "The Art of Kunqu Singing Series", with the participation of stars, vocalists and academics in Kunqu opera such as Cai Zhengren, Zhang Jiqing, Wang Shiyu, Liang Guyin, Yao Jikun, Huang Xiaowu, Wang Weijian, Li Hongliang, Gong Yinlei and Wu Shuang. This will be a rare opportunity to hear so many experts of the genre offer insights into the appreciation of Kunqu music as an art.

Ends/Thursday, April 10, 2014
Issued at HKT 17:32


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