Traditional Chinese opera feast

Various domestic opera troupes will present traditional Chinese operas in full or selected parts during the next three months.


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.

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.

Selected opera parts

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

Tickets: 80-280 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

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

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

(SD News)



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