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Cantonese opera virtuosi to perform in new production "Investigation to Redress a Wrong"

     A new Cantonese opera, "Investigation to Redress a Wrong", one of the attractions of the "Chinese Opera Festival" presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, will be staged in early July. The new production is written in the traditional paichang (formulaic) style by Sun Kim-long, a well-known actor of the genre in Hong Kong. The cast includes Lee Lung, Lung Koon-tin, Wong Chiu-kwan, Lui Hung-kwong, Wan Yuk-yue, Lai Yiu-wai, Cheng Nga-ki and Sun Kim-long himself.

     Paichang plays, or formulaic plays, are an important part of Cantonese opera. Paichang's components include special percussive points, set tunes and characters, plots, and stylised movements. In the olden days, a paichang opera was often the brainchild of the impresario's assistant, who would pick out certain pieces to form one production. These formed the basis for what became the traditional Cantonese opera repertory as it is known today. "Investigation to Redress a Wrong" follows the traditional paichang form and is therefore made up of segments such as "The Battle", "Seeing the Wife", "Reading the Petition", "Searching the Palace" and others.

     The story follows Prince Gong, who runs into a gang of robbers while on a hunt and is rescued by Wang Yingcai and Wenyong, who become the Prince's new recruits. The ambitious Wenyong fawns over the Prince and becomes his godson, while Yingcai is despatched to Shanxi as a general. Wenyong has long harboured lascivious desires for Yingcai's wife, née He, and on the pretext of seeing Yingcai off, pushes him into a river. Wenyong then visits the Wang family home, makes advances towards Madam He and injures Wang's father in a fight. Family members flee and Wang's father later dies from his injuries. The county prefect, who happens to be on an inspection round, takes up the case, but when he confronts Wenyong is killed in the family home. Madam He flees amid the confusion. Meanwhile, Yingcai has luckily escaped death, and on his way home, rescues his drowning wife who has thrown herself into the river in desperation. The two file a complaint with the Imperial Commissioner, Prince Pingnan, who is on an official visit. However, Prince Gong wants to cover up for Wenyong, so Prince Pingnan sends Yingcai to search Prince Gong's palace armed with the gold tablet bestowed on him by the late Emperor, that gives him authority to override any other orders or ranks. Wenyong is found hiding underground. Yingcai's wrong is redressed and the family is re-united.

     "Investigation to Redress a Wrong" will be staged at 7.30pm from July 4 to 6 (Friday to Sunday) at the Theatre, Ko Shan Theatre. Tickets priced at $360, $280, $200 and $120 are now available at URBTIX outlets, on the Internet and by telephone credit card 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 telephone credit card booking, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit

     Talks with free admission will be held to tie in with the performance. Details are as below:

Pre-performance Talk
June 8 (Sunday) 2.30pm
AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speaker: Sun Kim-long, Lung Koon-tin

Post-performance Talk
July 10 (Thursday) 7.30pm
AC1, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Speakers: Sun Kim-long, Lee Lung, Wong Chiu-kwan

Ends/Monday, May 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:52


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