Shanghai Yue Opera Group to perform signature play and new repertoire of Yue opera (with photos)

     The Chinese Opera Festival presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will bring to Hong Kong a signature play and new repertoire of Yue opera by the Shanghai Yue Opera Group next week.

     Yue opera is known for its brilliant lyrical repertoire, which is primarily presented with singing. The melodies of Yue opera are soft and gentle, while the singing style is elegant, beautiful and full of grace.

     The Shanghai Yue Opera Group will be staging "The Dream of the Red Chamber", the signature play of Yue opera. Built around the tragic love story of Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu, the play depicts the rise and fall of an extended feudal family. The play has been performed regularly since its premiere. In fact, its name was once synonymous with Yue opera.

     Also to be performed is "The Double-pearl Phoenix Hairpin", a classic in the repertoire of the Lu (Jinhua) school. It tells the boy-meets-girl story of Wen Bizheng, a Ming dynasty first-place scholar of Luoyang's provincial examination, and the beautiful Huo Dingjin, the only daughter of Minister of Appointment Huo Tianrong. The new version has preserved the classic singing segments and plotlines, but the libretto has been updated to tell an even more dazzling tale with romantic twists and turns after Wen and Huo fall in love at first sight.

     The newly written play "Bronze Bird Terrace" was adapted by Li Li, a former director of the Shanghai Yue Opera Group and a National Class One Playwright, and her co-writer Huang Yan. The play presents the story of Zhen Luo and Cao Zhi. "Bronze Bird Terrace" premiered in 2014 in the Mainland and is being staged in Hong Kong for the first time.

     The three full-length plays are all led by Fang Yafen, a celebrated Yuan (Xuefen) school "huadan" (female lead) role performer and a winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre and the director of the Shanghai Yue Opera Group. She will be sharing the stage with Lu school "xiaosheng" (young male) role player and National Class One Actor Xu Biaoxin, as well as Yin (Guifang) school "xiaosheng" role player Qi Chunlei. The excerpt performance will be presented by seasoned guest artists and winners of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre. They include Shan Yangping, who plays the "huadan" role of the Wang (Wenjuan) school, and renowned Fan (Ruijuan) school "xiaosheng" role player Zhang Ruihong.

     Details of the performances are as follows:

August 3 (Thursday), 7.30pm
"The Dream of the Red Chamber"

August 4 (Friday), 7.30pm
"The Double-pearl Phoenix Hairpin" (new version)

August 5 (Saturday), 2.30pm
"Love Tunes on the Zither" from "Romance of the West Chamber", "Seeking Out His Wife" from "He Wenxiu", "Crying at the Ancestral Temple" from "The Tragedy of Liu Chen", "Meeting at the Study" from "Tale of Meng Lijun", "Fortune-telling" from "The Prince of the Desert", "The Interrogation" from "Interrogating the Husband" and "Meeting in the Pavilion" from "The Butterfly Lovers".

August 5 (Saturday), 7.30pm
"Bronze Bird Terrace" (new adaptation)

     All performances will be staged at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced at $150, $250, $350 and $450 are now available at URBTIX ( For telephone credit card bookings, please call 2111 5999.

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

Ends/Friday, July 28, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:42