康樂及文化事務署 香港品牌形象 - 亞洲國際都會
GovHK 香港政府一站通 繁體版 簡體版
搜尋 聯絡我們
Stage Performances

No. 1 Troupe of the China National Peking Opera Company

There are many outstanding actors on the current Peking Opera scene who have contributed to the continuation of artistic excellence of many classics in the Peking Opera repertory. Yu Kuizhi, the famous actor of laosheng (old man) roles, will perform the title role in Wu Zixu, a full-length Peking Opera made famous by Yang Baosen, one of the ‘Four Greats’ in xusheng (bearded male) roles. Yu’s impassioned singing and acting will allow the present day audience a glimpse of the exemplary art of Yang. In Beating with a Gold Brick, which was a timeless audience favourite in the repertoire of Li Shaochun, it requires the lead actor an all-round performance in singing, delivery of lines, acting, dance, as well as acrobatics in martial arts. Yu will demonstrate his consummate skills and perform with bravura. He will partner with Li Shengsu, actress trained in dan roles of the Mei Lanfang school, in The Shoe Story and The Drunken Royal Concubine. In The Wild Boar Forest, which is taken from the famous novella The Water Margin, Yu’s partner on stage is Yang Chi, a famous performer in hualian (painted face) roles and a disciple of Yuan Shihai. The audience can witness the exceptional chemistry between these great actors on stage – definitely a programme not to be missed!

20/7 (Fri)

The Drunken Royal Concubine

The Drunken Royal Concubine is a classic made famous by Mei Lanfang. The sung music uses the siping mode throughout, and the melody has a feminine and lingering touch that aptly expresses Lady Yang’s internal turmoil. Li Shengsu, who plays the title role, is known for her lilting voice and eloquently executed stylised movements. She is capable of performing such difficult movements as ‘picking up the wine cup with the lips’, ‘leaning to one side in slow motion until the body touches the ground’, ‘drunken steps’, ‘fan dance’ etc. with seeming ease and grace, all of which have been hailed as bravura movements of the Mei Lanfang school.

It is an anecdote describing a lovers’ quarrel between Lady Yang and Emperor Ming of the Tang Dynasty. She has a banquet set up in the Imperial Garden, then sends a message to the Emperor to come for a drinking party for two. But the Emperor has gone to the chamber of Lady Mei, another royal concubine. With her heart gnawed by jealousy and anger, Lady Yang drinks by herself until she falls into a stupor.

Cast:Li Shengsu
Drum: Zhao Qi
Jinghu: Zhang Shunxiang

Beating with a Gold Brick

Beating with a Gold Brick is a well-known work of the Peking Opera legend, Li Shaochun. In the excerpt, the actor needs to demonstrate his all-round skills of singing, delivery, acting, as well as the stock movements of both military and civil roles. The vocals are lilting, and the stunt actions can be highly demanding. This is therefore an exemplary piece in traditional Peking Opera. Yu Kuizhi, dubbed ‘The Number One Actor in Laosheng Roles in China’, won the 7th Plum Blossom Award for China Theatre with his performance of the piece.

The story takes place during the reign of Emperor Guangwu of Eastern Han Dynasty. Yao Gang, the son of Yao Qi, kills the father of Lady Guo. The Emperor orders to have him banished, much to the chagrin of Lady Guo. To take revenge, Lady Guo makes the Emperor drunk, and gives a false edict to have Yao Qi and his family executed. The other faithful ministers who try to speak on Yao’s behalf are also cruelly killed. Ma Wu barges into the palace with a gold brick in a bid to advise the Emperor not to have the faithful wronged. Although the Emperor tries to revert the edict, the pardon comes too late. Yao is already beheaded. Ma rushes back to the imperial court and in a tirade, admonishes the Emperor for his wrong deed before crushing his own head with the gold bullion. When the Emperor wakes from his drunken stupor, he is struck by remorse. He has Lady Guo executed, then goes to the Imperial Temple to pay his respects to the wronged loyal souls. But his deep regret gives him such pain that he stumbles, collapses and dies.

Cast: Yu Kuizhi, Yang Chi, Yang Yanyi
Drum:Su Guangzhong
Jinghu:Zhang Shunxiang

21/7 (Sat) 2:30pm

Wu Zixu

Made famous by Yang Baosen, one of the ‘Four Great Actors in Bearded Male Roles’ in Peking Opera, this opera is inspired by the historical accounts of Wu Zixu, a famous strategist, military general and iconic figure of loyalty described in the ancient chronicles Zuo Zhuan and Shi Ji, and in the Qing novel, Romance of the Eastern Zhou States. It is famous for being a difficult piece, demanding the actors to have both good singing and acting skills.

Wu Zixu wants to flee to the State of Wu, but as a wanted man, he is afraid that he cannot go through the tight border control at Zhao Gate. He meets a hermit, Sir Donggao, who puts him up in his own residence for seven days. Under the enormous stress and anguish, Wu’s hair turns completely white, and his facial features also age tremendously. So Donggao asks a friend, Huangpu Nei, to assume Wu’s identity and crash the border control. As expected, Huangpu is taken custody while Wu manages to get through. The next obstacle is the river, which Wu has to cross. He finds an old fisherman who is willing to ferry him across. As a token of appreciation, Wu gives him his sword, and asks him not to disclose his route of escape. The fisherman throws himself into the river to bring the secret with him forever. Wu goes ashore, but is too hungry to go on. So when he sees a washerwoman, he begs her for food. When she has given him food, Wu asks her not to disclose his whereabouts. She also throws herself into the river to shut her own mouth forever. Wu arrives at the State of Wu. On hearing that Zhuan Zhu is a filial son and upright man, he befriends him, and the two become sworn brothers. Wu tries to make ends meet by becoming a street entertainer playing the flute. He happens to meet Prince Jiguang, who is the son and heir apparent to the Wu throne. But when the King dies, Wang Liao usurps the throne. Jiguang plots to reinstate himself, and on learning that Wu Zixu is a good strategist and general, he takes Wu under his wing. Wu recommends Zhuan Zhu to Jiguang, who sends Zhuan to assassinate Wang Liao with a dagger hidden in the belly of a fish.

Cast: Yu Kuizhi, Yang Yanyi, Zheng Yan, Li Yangming, Lu Yaoyao
Drum: Su Guangzhong, Sun Yu
Jinghu:Ye Guang, Hu Qiming

Play Video

21/7 (Sat) 7:30pm

The Shoe Story

The Shoe Story is an intellectually and artistically distinguished work by Maestro Mei Lanfang. First written by Qi Rushan based on the novella, Changing Shoes, by Dong Yinghan of the Ming Dynasty, it was later revised by Xu Jizhuan and renamed to the present title. The excerpt The Escape at Night describes Han Yuniang stealing away from the nunnery in the dark of the night. She sings as she walks briskly, with a lightness of step and airy movements that are beautiful to watch. Then in The Outpouring at Night, Yuniang tells her life story in an emotionally charged sung passage, which goes straight to the heart of the audience.

The story takes place during the war-stricken years of the Song Dynasty. The Tartar force, Jin, is making aggressions into Song land. Cheng Pengju, a scholar, and Han Yuniang, a young woman, are taken captive as slaves by General Zhang of the Jin army who forces them to marry. Yuniang encourages Cheng to escape back to Song land, but General Zhang learns of their plan. In a rage, he sells her to a Song merchant, Qu Shixi. When the two part, Cheng drops a shoe in his hurried escape. Yuniang picks it up and hides it as a keepsake. Cheng finds his way back to Song land and becomes a soldier under General Zong Ze. He presents Zong with a map, which aids in defeating the Jin invaders. Cheng is rewarded with an appointment as the Prefect of Xiangyang. But he misses Yuniang, so he sends Zhao Xun to bring the other shoe and go and find her. Now Qu Shixi, the merchant who has bought Yuniang, is sympathetic of her plight, and transfers her to a nunnery. But the Abbess intends to sell her to a local despot, Hu Wei. Yuniang manages to escape. She is taken home by an old woman by the name of Li. There, she works for a living as a weaver. When Zhao Xu comes along with Cheng’s shoe, she is reminded of all the sad things that have happened to her and falls ill. Cheng learns of this and hurries to find her, only to see her for the last time before she dies.

Cast:Li Shengsu , Zhang Wei, Zheng Yan, Chen Guosen, Hu Bin
Drum:Zhao Qi
Jinghu:Ye Guang

Play Video

22/7 (Sun)

The Wild Boar Forest

In The Wild Boar Forest, Yu Kuizhi, a consummate exponent of the art of the Peking Opera legend, Li Shaochun, will portray the protagonist Lin Chong in an engaging light. Scenes like Dispatch at the Roadside Pavilion and Vengeance in the Snow Storm put him under full limelight to demonstrate his amazing vocal skills and stylised movements. Monk Lu Zhishen will be played by Yang Chi, whose interpretation through jiazi hualian (painted face role performed with stilted stylised movements), a strident voice and a firm grasp of the performing skills conjure up a convincing character that is righteous, open-hearted, generous and eager to help those in dire straits. Lin Chong’s wife will be played by Li Shengsu. Her interpretation of a woman with a hidden strength of character in face of devastating circumstances goes straight to the heart of the audience, especially in the sad scene of Farewell at the Roadside Pavilion.

In late Northern Song Dynasty, Lin Chong is the Arms Instructor of the eight hundred thousand strong Squadron of Imperial Guards. Young Master Gao, son of Marshal Gao Qiu, Commander of the Imperial Guards, is enamoured of Lin Chong’s wife, so he sets a trap to get rid of Lin. He invites Lin to visit the Marshal’s Residence on the pretext that Marshal Gao wants to see a broadsword. Unwittingly Lin is led to the White Tiger Inner Sanctum, the rear hall which is out of bounds to anybody carrying a weapon. So Lin is accused of trying to assassinate the Marshal and is sentenced to banishment. On the way to Cangzhou, the guards are bribed to kill Lin. Monk Lu Zhishen happens to be passing by and saves him. On arriving in Cangzhou, Lin is charged with guarding the haystacks for the army horses. Gao Qiu sends men to burn it down, with the intention of killing Lin in the fire. Lin uncovers their treacherous scheme and kills the arsonists before going to join the rebels on Liangshan with Monk Lu.

Cast: Yu Kuizhi, Yang Chi, Li Shengsu, Zheng Yan
Drum: Su Guangzhong
Jinghu: Zhang Shunxiang


Yu Kuizhi
National Class One Performer Yu Kuizhi is currently Artistic Adviser and Associate Company Director of the China National Peking Opera Company. He also won the accolade as ‘The Number One Actor in Laosheng Roles in China’. He has benefitted from sharing the stage experience of veterans Yuan Shihai and Li Shiji, and coaching of Li Mingsheng, Ru Yuanjun, Cao Yunqing, Zhu Yuankun etc. on the repertoires of the Yang Baosen and Li Shaochun stylistic schools. He has performed in several new original productions since then, including the historical plays Sun Wu the Military Strategist, Yuan Chonghuan as well as the mega Peking Opera production, the symphonic poem Mei Lanfang. Yu was a winner of the 7th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre; the First Prize in laosheng category of the National Television Grand Prix for Young to Middle-aged Peking Opera Performers - Young Performers’ Section. More recent awards include the Wenhua Award for Performance and an Outstanding Achievement in Chinese Representative Art Forms presented by United Nations.
Li Shengsu
National Class One Performer and the winner of the Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre. Li Shengsu is currently Company Director of the China National Peking Opera Company No. 1 Troupe. She trained at the Hebei Arts School and has benefitted from the coaching of Qi Lanqiu, Liu Yuantong and Jiang Fengshan. Also, as a formal disciple of the Peking Opera virtuosi Liu Xiurong and Mei Baojiu, she is recognized as a true exponent of their stylistic lineage. Li has a handsome persona and a sweet voice, and is capable of performing the civil and military repertoires. Her outstanding repertoire includes King Chu Bids Farewell to His Concubine, The Shoe Story, The Drunken Royal Concubine, The Captive General Visits His Mother and The Legend of the White Snake. Li won an acclaim as ‘An outstanding exponent of the Mei School of art of our time’.
Yang Chi (Guest)
Yang Chi is a National Class One Performer and currently Director of the Dalian Peking Opera Theatre. Yang specializes in the various subcategories of the hualian (painted face) roles, including tongchui, jiazi and wu hualian. He became a disciple of the Peking Opera veteran Yuan Shihai in 1982. In 1990, he participated in the Bicentennial of the Anhui Troupes’ Arrival in the Capital with At the Mouth of Jiujiang River, which won for him the acclaim as a ‘first-rate all-round performer of hualian roles’. Yang has won many performing awards in China, including the 8th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre and an Outstanding Performance Award at the New Repertory Showcase for Peking Opera Youth Troupes in China.
Yang Yanyi (Guest)
Yang Yanyi is a National Class One Performer and famous tongchui hualian (painted face wielding bronze mallets) of the Qiu (Shengrong) stylistic school. He was trained at various times of his career by Peking Opera virtuosi of the Qiu such as Yan Bosen, Fang Rongxiang, Xia Yunlong, Li Changchun etc. His stock repertoire includes Executing Cheng Shimei, Subduing the Five Powers, Pillars of the Dynasty , Visiting the Mausoleum and The Two Faithful Courtiers. His sonorous and strident voice carries far and rings long, making him a true exponent of tongchui (mallet-wielding) roles of the Qiu Shengrong stylistic school.
Zheng Yan
Zheng Yan is a National Class One Performer specializing in the wenchou (civil clown) roles. He was trained by Xiao Changhua and was coached by Gao Fuyuan, Wang Shengru and Wang Ronghan before he became a formal disciple of Xiao Shengxuan. On stage, Zheng delivers his lines with clear, crisp diction, meticulous accents and pacing, and is adept in interpreting the emotions of his characters. His outstanding repertoire includes Famen Temple, Meeting of Heroes and The Extradition of Su San. He won a Performance Award and was named an Outstanding Actor in Supporting Role at the New Repertoire Showcase presented by the Ministry of Culture of China.
Zhang Wei
Zhang Wei is a National Class One Performer specializing in xiaosheng (civil male) roles. He first won popular acclaim when, in 1990, he performed in Anecdotes about Empress Wu Zetian with the Peking Opera virtuoso, Li Shiji, on the occasion of the Bicentennial of the Anhui Troupes’ Arrival in the Capital. Zhang has a handsome persona, scholarly grace, and a natural performing style. His repertoire includes The Jade Pass, The Incarceration of Su San, Xue Pinggui Leaves His Cave Dwelling Home, Flying Tiger Mountainetc.

20-22/7 Fri – Sun 7:30pm
21/7 Sat 2:30pm
Grand Theatre,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
$350 $260 $180 $100
  • With Chinese and English surtitles
  • Please refer to the ‘Extension Activities’ page for details of other extension activities
  • Each performance lasts approx. 2 hours and 45 minutes with a 15-minute intermission


© All rights reserved by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.