Traditional Chinese opera feast

Source: SD News

"The Peony Pavilion"


Various domestic opera troupes will present traditional Chinese operas in full or selected parts during the next three months. The opera forms include Beijing opera, Shaoxing opera, Kunqu opera and Northern Kunqu opera.

Beijing opera combines music, vocal performances, miming, dancing and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. It is regarded as one of the cultural treasures of China.

Shaoxing opera was founded around 1906 in Shengzhou, Zhejiang Province. Shaoxing opera’s features are elegant and soft, which make it suitable for telling love stories.

Kunqu opera is one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. It evolved from Kunshan in Jiangsu Province and was listed as one of the Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001.

Northern Kunqu opera is a branch of Kunqu opera popular in Beijing and northern China’s Hebei Province.

Beijing opera "Li Duanfen"

The play centers on Li Duanfen, a Qing Dynasty imperial official who supported the reform movements in the 1890s. Li submitted his Petition for Popularizing School Education to the throne. This document, for the first time, outlined a comprehensive education reform program.

Time: 8 p.m., June 11-12

Tickets: 60-280 yuan

Reservations: 400-610-3721

Venue: Shenzhen Children’s Palace, intersection of Hongli Road and Jintian Road, Futian District (福田区红荔路和金田路交汇处深圳少年宫)

Metro: Longgang or Longhua Line, Children’s Palace Station (少年宫站), Exit B

Northern Kunqu opera "The Story of the Western Wing"

“The Story of the Western Wing” is the story of a young couple consummating their love without parental approval.

Time: 8 p.m., June 12-13

Tickets: 60-380 yuan

Venue: Nanshan Cultural and Sports Center, 2106 Nanshan Boulevard, Nanshan District (南山区南山大道2106号南山文体中心)

Metro: Luobao Line, Taoyuan Station (桃园站), Exit B

Selected opera parts

Time: 8 p.m., July 16, Aug. 20

Tickets: 80-280 yuan

Venue: Nanshan Cultural and Sports Center

Kunqu ‘The Story of the Thorn Hairpin’

Wang Shipeng, a poor scholar, is engaged to Qian Yulian, who accepts his engagement gift of a thorn hairpin. Wang passes the imperial exam as the top scholar but declines the prime minister’s offer of marriage to his daughter. The prime minister schemes to turn Wang’s letter to Qian into a letter of divorce. The Qian family misunderstands Wang and asks Qian to marry someone else. Qian tries to commit suicide by jumping into a river but is luckily rescued by another official. Years later, Wang and Qian meet again by accident and the couple is finally reunited.

Time: 8 p.m., Aug. 21

Tickets: 80-380 yuan

Venue: Nanshan Cultural and Sports Center

Shaoxing opera "A Dream of Red Mansions"

The main character is the carefree adolescent male heir of his family, Jia Baoyu. He is in love with his cousin Lin Daiyu but his family arranges for him to marry another cousin Xue Baochai. The romantic rivalry and friendships between the three characters against the backdrop of the family’s declining fortunes form the main story.

Time: 8 p.m., June 19

Tickets: 100-380 yuan

Venue: Shenzhen Grand Theater, 5018 Shennan Road East, Luohu District (罗湖区深南东路5018号深圳大剧院)

Metro: Luobao or Shekou Line, Grand Theater Station (大剧院站), Exit B

Shaoxing opera "He Wenxiu"

Young scholar He Wenxiu goes to Haining to take the imperial exam with his wife, Wang Lanying. Wang’s beauty attracts the attention of Zhang Tang, an unscrupulous squire. Zhang frames He, puts He into prison and attempts to rape Wang. A middle-aged woman, Madam Yang, saves Wang and hides her in a mulberry orchard. Later He passes the exam and is appointed an imperial commissioner. He returns to Haining and visits the mulberry orchard three times. Finally, the husband and wife are reunited.

Time: 8 p.m., June 20

Tickets: 100-280 yuan

Venue: Shenzhen Grand Theater

Kunqu "The Peony Pavilion"

Du Liniang, the daughter of an official, sleeps in a garden. In her dream, she encounters a young scholar, identified later in the play as Liu Mengmei, whom in real life she has never met. Du becomes preoccupied with her dream affair and her lovesickness quickly consumes her. Unable to recover from her fixation, Du dies. The president of the underworld adjudicates that a marriage between Du and Liu is predestined and Du ought to return to the earthly world. Du appears to Liu in his dreams. He now inhabits the same garden where Du had her fatal dream. Once recognizing that Du is the lady who appears in his dreams, Liu agrees to exhume her upon her request and Du is brought back to life.

Time 1: 7:30 p.m., July 8

Tickets: 80-280 yuan

Venue: Shenzhen Poly Theater, intersection of Wenxin Road 5 and Houhaibin Road, Nanshan District (南山区后海滨路与文心五路交界处深圳保利剧院)

Metro: Shekou Line, Houhai Station (后海站), Exit E

Time 2: 8 p.m., July 17

Tickets: 80-380 yuan

Venue: Nanshan Cultural and Sports Center

Kunqu ‘The Jade Hairpin’

Pan Bizheng is a promising young man but suffers from an illness during his preparation for the imperial exam. After he fails in the exam and returns home, he meets Chen Jiaolian, a beautiful and talented nun. Chen came from a wealthy family but lost everything in a war, so she sought shelter in a temple and became a nun. Pan and Chen fall in love but such a love affair brings disgrace to the temple. Chen’s mother drives Pan away and orders him to take the exam again. Pan finally passes the exam with honors and marries Chen.

Time: 7:30 p.m., July 9

Tickets: 80-280 yuan

Venue: Shenzhen Poly Theater




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