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Cantonese opera stars and young talents to perform classics excerpts
     Acclaimed Cantonese opera stars Loong Koon-tin, Liang Zhaoming and Chan Hung-chun will collaborate with young talents to give two classic excerpt performances entitled 'Elites and their Timeless Virtues" in January next year. Under the theme "Loyalty and Filialness" the programme will include "Executing His Own Son to Demonstrate Patriotism" from "The Tragedy of Two Patriotic Brothers"; "Sijie Lectures the Son" from "A Scholar Becomes Rich"; "Forcing the Widow to Re-marry" from "Snow in Summer", and "Releasing Cao Cao" from "The Huarong Pass". Details are as follows:
Date: January 16 (Monday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Auditorium, Tsuen Wan Town Hall
Tickets: $100, $160, $200 and $280
Date: January 17 (Tuesday)
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Auditorium, Tuen Mun Town Hall
Tickets: $100, $160, $200 and $260
"Executing His Own Son to Demonstrate Patriotism" from "The Tragedy of Two Patriotic Brothers"
Main cast: Loong Koon-tin, Cheng Wing-mui, Ryder Chan, Leung Wai-hong, Wang Kit-ching and Ruan Dewen
     The incompetence of the emperor of the Ming dynasty causes domestic troubles and aggravates external threats. The family of General Zhong, who is guarding the frontier, is loyal to the country. His twin sons Xiaoquan and Xiaoyi are ordered to lead the troops to the battlefield. Despite his best efforts, Xiaoquan is defeated and later ambushed. Fortunately, a military dispatch arrives in time to rescue him.
     With his father-in-law speaking ill of Xiaoquan, the emperor orders Xiaoquan's execution. Xiaoquan's father, also fooled by the rumour that his son's recklessness is the cause of the invasion, raises his sabre to him. Xiaoyi secures evidence of the father-in-law's treachery but it is too late - Xiaoquan has already been executed. Xiaoyi kills the culprit with his sabre to avenge his brother's death.
"Sijie Lectures the Son" from "A Scholar Becomes Rich"
Main cast: Liang Zhaoming, Chan Hung-chun and Chan Ka-ming
     Yu Fengsheng and Hua Yanhong, a scholar and a courtesan, fall in love with each other. Yu promises to marry Hua if he passes the imperial examination, and gives her a gold round fan as a keepsake. Returning home in glory, Yu is scolded by his mother, Sijie. Hua is so grieved by the thought that Yu has betrayed her that she decides to become a nun.
     Sijie goes to a nunnery and notices a poem written on the wall. Admiring the poet's talent, Sijie wants to match her son with the poet. It turns out that the poet is none other than Hua - Yu is overjoyed. The story is resolved with the marriage of the two lovers.
"Forcing the Widow to Re-marry" from "Snow in Summer"
Main cast: Wang Gedan and Tam Wing-lun

     Poor girl Dou Er sells herself in order to afford a proper burial for her mother and is bought by a woman, Cai, who weds her son Changzong to the girl. Zhang, who has long coveted Dou for her beauty, starts paying frequent visits but all meet with defiance. Zhang mistakenly kills his mother and accuses Cai of the murder. Fearing Cai will not be able to withstand the prosecution, Dou takes responsibility for the crime instead.
     On execution day in the middle of summer, an amazingly heavy snow descends. Changzong, fresh from winning first place in the imperial examination, returns as inspector-general. He retries the case and exonerates Dou while bringing Zhang to justice. The family is happily reunited.
"Releasing Cao Cao" from "The Huarong Pass"
Main cast: Ryder Chan and Leung Wai-hong
     Before the battle of Red Cliffs, Zhuge Liang anticipates that Cao Cao will be defeated at Huarong. Zhuge asks Guan Yu to guard Huarong Pass, so that Guan can return his favour to Cao. As Zhuge anticipates, Cao Cao is defeated at Wulin. However, thanks to co-operation among generals Xu Huang and Zhang He, Cao manages to escape.
     Cao meets Guan at the narrow pass of Huarong. Cao has no choice but to personally beg Guan for release. Guan remembers Cao's favour and releases him. Cao eventually returns to Jiangling.
     Cantonese opera excerpts "Elites and their Timeless Virtues" is presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Tickets are now available at URBTIX (www.urbtix.hk). For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999. For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7325 or visit www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/Programme/en/chinese_opera/programs_135.html.
     A post-performance talk (in Cantonese) will be held at 7.30pm on January 18 (Wednesday) at Function Room, 4/F, Ko Shan Theatre New Wing. Speakers include Loong Koon-tin, Chan Hung-chun, Cheung Wing-mui, Wang Gedan and Ryder Chan. Admission is free. Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Ends/Friday, November 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 12:43
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