Chongqing Chuan Theatre and three-time winner of Plum Blossom Award to perform classics of Sichuan opera

     Shen Tiemei, a three-time winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre, who has been described as the "Diva of Sichuan Opera", will make her Hong Kong debut at the upcoming Chinese Opera Festival in July. Along with the Chongqing Chuan Theatre and another winner of the Plum Blossom Award, Sun Yongbo, audiences are promised a choice of entertaining operas. The performances are presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.

     Shen Tiemei and Sun Yongbo will collaborate in the gaoqiang full-length production of "Li Yaxian" (often called the Chinese "La Traviata"). Shen Tiemei won the Plum Blossom Award for the third time with her performance in this play. In this production the audience can appreciate the tenderness and elegance of Shen's unique Sichuan opera singing.

     There are also excerpt performances featuring four classics of Sichuan opera. "Battle at Mount Tielong" is a representative "poladan" (shrew) play, including celebrated stylised movements and sleeve routines by the lead character Queen Du. "Capturing the Tiger" is played by acclaimed chou (comic) performer Luo Jilong. The play is characterised by its unique Sichuan opera features, presenting a tragedy with comedic acting. Shen Tiemei will act in the masterpiece "Yearning for the Secular World", a play that requires the leading female to play guimendan (highborn female), nudan (maid servant) and huadan (young female) roles, a combination which requires supreme singing and acting skills. In addition, the essence of a cappella singing in Sichuan opera is revealed to its fullest. Another highlight is "Forcing her Nephew to Take the Imperial Examination", headlined by Sun Yongbo, which shows the distinguished and admirable charm of the xiaosheng (civil male) role in Sichuan Opera.

     Chongqing Chuan Theatre, formerly the Experimental Chuanju Theatre of Chongqing, has a long history. The calligraphy of its name was written by renowned Chinese poet Guo Moruo. During its 60-year history, the theatre has strived to explore the art of Sichuan opera, focusing on innovations in the singing voice while also researching Sichuan operatic techniques. The company has included veteran masters and renowned leading actors including seasoned artists such as Zhang Decheng, Zhou Mulian, Wu Xiaolei, Zhou Yuxiang and Yuan Yukun. Its repertoire consists of many outstanding titles including "The Story of the Wooden Hairpin", "The Reincarnation of a Beauty", "The Tale Under the Willow Shade", "The Story of the Lute", "Jinzi" and "Li Yaxian".

     Details of the performances are as follows:
July 15 (Saturday) 7.30pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
"Li Yaxian"

July 16 (Sunday) 2.30pm
Concert Hall, Hong Kong City Hall
Excerpts: "Battle at Mount Tielong" (Gaoqiang), "Capturing the Tiger" (Dengxi), "Yearning for the Secular World" (Gaoqiang) and "Forcing her Nephew to Take the Imperial Examination" (Gaoqiang)

     Tickets priced at $150, $220, $300 and $380 are now available at URBTIX ( For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999.

     An "Artists on Their Art" talk entitled "Chinese Traditional Theatre in Modern Context" (in Putonghua) will be held at 7.30pm on July 14 (Friday) at GR1, Level 6, Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. The Director of the Chongqing Chuan Theatre, Shen Tiemei and Luo Huaizhen, playwright of "Li Yaxian", will be the speakers. Admission is free. Limited seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

     For programme enquiries and concessionary schemes, please call 2268 7325 or visit

Ends/Thursday, June 15, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:00