The Chinese Opera Festival has received tremendous support since its inception in 2010. This year the Festival will present a stronger cast and an enhanced programme mix in a kaleidoscopic array of Chinese operatic genres to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to our Motherland and the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The two leading Peking Opera troupes in China, the Peking Opera Theatre of Beijing and the First Troupe of the China National Peking Opera Company, will meet at the remarkable opening programme “Peking Opera Gala” and delight audience with the jubilant A Right Royal Match. Presented by a star-studded cast, the six performances will feature consummate actors and actresses including Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu from the First Troupe of the China National Peking Opera Company; Tan Xiaozeng, Wang Rongrong, Du Zhenjie, Li Hongtu, Zhu Qiang, Chen Junjie and Zhang Huifang from the Peking Opera Theatre of Beijing; and guest performer Yang Chi from the Dalian Peking Opera Theatre. The Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong will band together local Cantonese Opera performers to stage auspicious pieces, namely Enlightenment of the Goddess of Mercy, Grand Birthday Celebration at Mount Heung Fa, Blessing by the God of Fortune and Fairy Returns Her Son to the Mortal Father.
Number One Troupe of the Shanghai Shaoxing Opera Group will sweep audience away with romance of star-crossed lovers. Held in great esteem since its premiere, The Dream of the Red Chamber has now become an all-time classic. The lovers in The Double-pearl Phoenix Hairpin (new edition) are guided by fate and finally tie the knot after twists and turns. Bronze Bird Terrace in its new adaptation gives an impactful portrayal of characters and depicts the love-hate story of a femme fatale and two rivalling brothers. The versatile actress Fang Yafen will be playing the heroine in all three operas. The new edition of The White Silk Gown is the brainchild of famous author Pai Hsien-yung and Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theatre of Jiangsu. Yu Jiulin will be the tragic hero who uncovers the truth but causes misfortune and agony by his own actions.
Reputed for its unsurpassed stunts and elegant singing, Zhejiang Wu Opera Research Centre is making its second visit to Hong Kong to stage Mu Guiying and other excerpts. Diva of Sichuan Opera and three-time Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre winner Shen Tiemei will be leading Chongqing Chuan Theatre in Li Yaxian and other excerpts to present the different facets of Sichuan Opera. Shaanxi Traditional Opera Research Institute will put on performances by Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre winners and showcase a great variety of regional genres in the province while the century-old preeminent Xi’an Yisu Society will reveal the time-honoured beauty of Shaanxi Opera to the local audience for the first time.
Tang Yuen-ha of Hong Kong’s Jingkun Theatre will partner with Shandong Peking Opera Theatre and seasoned artists Li Yusheng and Lu Yongchang in The Battle of Changban Po and other Peking and Kunqu Operas excerpts. Illustrious Cantonese Opera artists Lee Lung, Nam Fung and Yuen Siu-fai will be playing the leading roles in Battle of the Throne. A new Cantonese Opera set against the Ming Dynasty, the collaboration between Director Geng Tianyuan and playwright Lai Yiu-wai promises a refreshing repertoire for the audience.
In addition to the above electrifying performances, extension activities including lectures, artists’ talks, exhibitions and operatic film screenings will be launched to present the beauty of Chinese opera from different perspectives. Come along and experience the charm of Chinese operatic arts!
Cultural Presentations Section
Leisure and Cultural Services Department