Jingkun Theatre and Shandong Peking Opera Theatre to perform classic repertories

     As part of the Chinese Opera Festival 2015, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will stage performances by Jingkun Theatre and Shandong Peking Opera Theatre in late July. Tang Yuen-ha and Geng Tianyuan, artists of Peking opera and Kunqu opera from Hong Kong, will be joined by Kunqu veteran Lu Yongchang and members of the Shandong Peking Opera Theatre in performing some classics of the Peking and Kunqu opera stock repertories.

     "The Number One Scholar as the Matchmaker" will be staged on July 29. Also known as "The Invincible Formation", the opera was adapted by Ye Delin in 1960 and featured Zhang Junqiu at its premiere. It is from Zhang's prized repertoire and is a challenging piece for performers, who must possess a regal air yet at the same time the shy reserve of a young girl. Some of the lines and tonal changes also require the performer to have a broad range and rich voice as well as a flamboyant yet elegant flair, along with some coy charm and forthright appeal.

     The performance on July 30 will feature Peking opera and Kunqu opera excerpts. "The Eight Mallets", from Peking opera, features actors in "wusheng" (military male) and "wuxiaosheng" (young military male) roles. While the costume requires the wearing of long-feather headgear and thick-soled boots, the actor needs to be highly athletic in his torso movements and legwork. Lu Wenlong's fighting scenes involve adept wielding of double spears to demonstrate his smug, confident air, as he knows he can beat his opponent. In "The General Reconciles with the Prime Minister", the actor playing the prideful veteran general Lian Po, who is later filled with regret, needs to demonstrate orthodox, sophisticated skills in singing, delivery of lines, acting and facial expressions. On the other hand the actor who plays the prime minister, Lin Xiangru, must demonstrate great generosity of heart and respect for his able colleagues. The two Kunqu opera excerpts, "Painting the Portrait" and "Bidding Farewell at the Grave" from "The Story of the Lute", involve subtle delivery that can touch the audience's heart. The singing offers an excellent example of the art of the "shuimoqiang" in Kunqu, where the actors need to sing with a delicate, lyrical voice, and excellent enunciation of the fluid, long drawn-out tones.

     Performances by Jingkun Theatre and Shandong Peking Opera Theatre will be staged at 7.30pm on July 29 and 30 (Wednesday and Thursday) at the Auditorium, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing. Tickets priced at $120, $240 and $380 are now available at URBTIX. 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 are available on a first-come, first-served basis). Please refer to the Chinese Opera Festival website or programme leaflet for group booking discount schemes.

     For programme enquiries, please call 2268 7325, or visit www.cof.gov.hk. For credit card telephone bookings, please call 2111 5999. For Internet bookings, please visit www.urbtix.hk.

Ends/Monday, June 29, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:00