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Four generations of Cantonese opera artists to showcase artistry on stage in celebration of HKSAR's 25th anniversary
     To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) will present "Four Generations of Cantonese Opera Actors on Stage" in August. Veteran Cantonese opera stars Ng Chin-fung and Yuen Siu-fai will collaborate with other senior and young actors to perform an exciting variety of repertoire, including the adapted Cantonese opera "Third Master Sha and His Charming Maid", "The Dream Meeting between Emperor Wu of Han and Lady Wei" and five Cantonese opera excerpts. This programme is under the exclusive sponsorship of the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC), and is one of the many initiatives supported by the HKJC's approved donation of $630 million to the Government of the HKSAR to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, demonstrating that the HKJC is resolute in pursuing its purpose of acting continuously for the betterment of society, all in support of creating stronger communities together.

     Originally written by Ng Yat-siu, the celebrated "King of Arias", the libretti of the "Third Master Sha and His Charming Maid" are written in a comprehensible language. Not only is the play written in a light-hearted and witty style, but also the story carries a strong didactic element. The script for this performance is adapted by Ng Chin-fung and Yuen Siu-fai, aiming to present different tastes of Cantonese opera that are able to keep pace with the times. Fans also must not miss "The Dream Meeting between Emperor Wu of Han and Lady Wei", a noted part of the repertoire of Cantonese opera staple Sit Kok-sin, which will be performed by Ng, who specialises in the "Sit Vocal Style", and Yuen. As the finale of the programme, the five Cantonese opera excerpts selected from "The Orphan of the Zhao's", "The Last Emperor of Southern Tang" and "Ten Charges against Yan Song" enable talents of different generations to showcase their artistry. This programme is part of the "Cantonese Operas Across Time" series, and its details are as follows:

An Adapted Cantonese Opera "Third Master Sha and His Charming Maid"
Dates: August 1 and 2 (Monday and Tuesday)
Cast (listed by stroke order of name): Ng Chin-fung, Ng Lap-hei, Yuen Siu-fai, Shum Pak-chuen, Miu Dan-ching, Tong Yuen-ying, Chan Wing-yee, Wan Yuk-yu, Lai Yiu-wai, Lo Lai-see and Siu Wing-yee
Synopsis: Third Master Sha, son of a senior officer, lusts after the beautiful Yin Jie. He lies to persuade Yin Jie's husband, Tan Ren, to divorce her. This sparks a row between Tan and Third Master Sha, ending with Tan being badly wounded and then dead. Officer Sha, stunned to learn of his son's crime, arrests him in person in a righteous and honourable move. Third Master Sha realises his mistakes in his final hour, but it is too late.

"The Dream Meeting between Emperor Wu of Han and Lady Wei"
Date: August 3 (Wednesday)
Cast (listed by stroke order of name): Ng Chin-fung, Ng Lap-hei, Yuen Siu-fai, Shum Pak-chuen, Chui Yuet-ming, Tong Yuen-ying, Chan Wing-yee, Chan Hung-chun and Liu Kwok-sum
Synopsis: Wei Ziqing is a songstress at a prince's palace. Emperor Wu confers on her the title of Lady Wei and appoints her brother Wei Qing as General Valiant upon recommendation. Empress Chen is jealous and wants to kill Wei Ziqing. Wei Qing feigns to kill his pregnant sister so that she is able to escape unharmed. Emperor Wu thinks his beloved is dead, so when he sees Wei Ziqing appear with their son, he thinks he is in a dream.

Cantonese Opera Excerpts (five plays)
Date: August 4 (Thursday)

"Giving up His Own Son to Save the Zhao's Orphan" and "Searching and Saving the Zhao's Orphan" from "The Orphan of the Zhao's"
"Giving up His Own Son to Save the Zhao's Orphan": Yuen Siu-fai and Chan Wing-yee
"Searching and Saving the Zhao's Orphan": Yuen Siu-fai, Liu Kwok-sum and Miu Dan-ching
Synopsis: Zhao Dun, a loyal minister in the State of Jin during the Spring and Autumn Period, is wrongly accused by the villainous minister Tu'an Gu. All his assets are confiscated and his kin are subject to extermination. Cheng Ying, a retainer under Zhao Dun, sacrifices his own son in exchange for Zhao Dun's orphan.

"A Secret Meeting" from "The Last Emperor of Southern Tang"
Cast: Tam Wing-lun and Leung Sum-yee
Synopsis: In the Southern Tang period, Emperor Li Yu knows no statecraft. He also cannot shake off the sad loss of his consort and wallows in his depression. His sister-in-law, Zhou the Younger, encourages him and declares her love for him. He is moved and finally decides to rally round.

"Writing the Petition" and "Impeaching Song" from "Ten Charges against Yan Song"
"Writing the Petition": Ng Chin-fung, Chan Wing-yee, Siu Wing-yee and Ng Lap-hei
"Impeaching Song": Ng Chin-fung, Yuen Siu-fai, Liu Kwok-sum, Tong Yuen-ying, Shum Pak-chuen and Siu Wing-yee
Synopsis: The Emperor Jiajing leaves governance to his ministers and turns a blind eye to vile deeds of Yan Song. Undeterred by the powers-that-be, Inspector Hai Rui submits memorials to impeach Yan Song, resulting in dismissal from office and being sent to prison. Meanwhile, Yan Song's son, Yan Shifan, is exposed for delaying military manoeuvres and colluding with Japanese pirates. The Emperor Jiajing confiscates all assets of Yan's family.

     All performances will be staged at 7.30pm at the Grand Theatre of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets for each show priced at $140, $220, $300 and $380 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_1077.html.

     A pre-performance talk in Cantonese will be held at 7.30pm on July 25 (Monday) at AC2, Level 4, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Speakers include Ng Chin-fung, Yuen Siu-fai and Chan Wing-yee, and the moderator is Barbara Tang. Admission is free. Telephone registration is required and can be made by calling 2268 7267 from 10am on July 18 (Monday). Limited seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Details can be found on the above website.

     In order to comply with the requirements stipulated in the Prevention and Control of Disease (Requirements and Directions) (Business and Premises) Regulation (Cap. 599F) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, members of the public are required to scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" venue QR code with their mobile phones/other mobile devices before being allowed to enter the performing arts venues managed by the LCSD for necessary contact tracing if a confirmed case is found. In accordance with the Prevention and Control of Disease (Vaccine Pass) Regulation (Cap. 599L) and relevant requirements of administrative instructions, all persons entering indoor venues under the management of the LCSD must comply with the requirement of the Vaccine Pass.
Ends/Thursday, June 30, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:00
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