Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing Peking Opera

Source:National Centre for the Performing Arts

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Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts

Time: January 26-29, 2020

About

January 26th: The Unicorn Purse

XUE Xiangling is a daughter of a wealthy family and is loved by her mother. XUE Xiangling is about to get married. Her mother gives her a unicorn purse packed with jewels inside. On the way to the wedding ceremony, Xue Xiangling is caught in the rain. When she is taking shelter from the rain at Chunqiu Pavilion, she meets ZHAO Shouzhen who will also be a bride on the same day. ZHAO Shouzhen is so sad about her poor family and could not help crying. XUE Xiangling takes pity on her and gives her the unicorn purse as a gift. Six years later, XUE Xiangling is separated from her family and loses touch with them due to flood disaster. She has to work as a maid in the local Lu Family to take care of LU’s son. One day, XUE Xiangling unexpectedly catches sight of the unicorn purse on the shrine desk, which was presented to ZHAO Shouzhen in the past. XUE Xiangling is very surprised and asks Madam LU. Madam LU turns out to be ZHAO Shouzhen and learns that XUE Xiangling is the benefactor of the unicorn purse. Madam LU becomes a sister of Xiangling and helps her get reunited with her family members. The Unicorn Purse takes the fickleness of the world as the background, and eulogizes the lofty emotions and moral concepts of sympathy for the poor and retribution for the kindness.

Cast
XUE Xiangling: CHI Xiaoqiu
ZHAO Shouzhen: LU Tong
Meixiang: MEI Qingyang
XUE Liang: NI Shengchun
Lady HU: SUN Zhen
Biyu: HUANG Baixue
Old Lady: SHEN Wenli
ZHAO Luhan: MU Yu
LU Tianlin: CHEN Yixin
LU Yuanwai: ZHANG Kai
ZHOU Tingxun: WANG Yuxi
ZHOU Daqi: ZHENG Xiao
Senior Best Man: JING Baoqi
Junior Best Man: LIANG Junwei

January 27th: Yangsilang Visits His Mother

During the war between the Song Dynasty and the Liao Dynasty, YANG Yanhui (the fourth son of Yang’s family, namely YANG Silang) is captured by Liao Army. He renames himself MU Yi, and marries Princess Tiejing of the Liao Dynasty. 15 years later, the Song Dynasty and the Liao Dynasty fall into the war again. XIAO Tianzuo, a general of the Liao Dynasty, arranges “Sky-Door Maze” for a decisive battle in Feihu Valley of Jiulong Mountain. Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty goes on an expedition by himself. YANG Yanhui’s mother SHE Saihua also escorts the army provisions to Yanmen Pass. YANG Yanhui hears that news and looks for an opportunity to visit his mother. However, because of the strict guard at Yanmen Pass, he fails in his attempt. Princess Tiejing asks YANG Yanhui why he is so worried. Instead of concealing the truth, YANG Yanhui tells her the truth. Princess Tiejing takes pity on her husband. She has a wonderful idea and finally steals the token of authority. As a result, YANG Yanhui succeeds in going through Yanmen Pass at night. YANG Yanhui expresses his sufferings of separation from his family to his mother and wife. The next day, YANG Yanhui has to separate from his mother after a short reunion. YANG Yanhui wipes tears to say goodbye to his mother and wife although they hope that he can stay for a longer time. He rushes back to the Liao Dynasty overnight. But he is captured by Empress Dowager XIAO and will be beheaded according to law. After Princess Tiejing and others beg for leniency, YANG Yanhui fortunately gets lenient treatment.

Cast
YANG Yanhui: DU Zhenjie
Princess Tiejing: ZHANG Huifang
Empress Dowager XIAO: WANG Yi
YANG Zongbao: BAO Fei
SHE Saihua: KANG Jing
Mrs. Si: MA Na
YANG Yanzhao: QIU Shi
Emperor’s Maternal Uncle: ZHAO Shikang
The 2nd Emperor’s Maternal Uncle: BAO Yan

January 28th: The Pearl Shirt

ZHAO Guangyi, a prince of the Song Dynasty, goes hunting at the border with infanta CHAI Meichun. However, they were captured by generals of the Liao Dynasty. YANG Yanzhao goes by at that time, and rescues ZHAO Guangyi and CHAI Meichun. FU Dingkui, the son of Minister FU Long, is also on the way to help them. ZHAO Guangyi mistakenly believes that FU Dingkui is meritorious and betroths CHAI Meichun to FU Dingkui. CHAI Meichun falls in love with the handsome YANG Yanzhao and presents him a pearl robe. Despite twists and turns, with the assistance of Prince Baxian and LÜ Mengzheng (new Number One Scholar), misunderstanding is eliminated, and some facts are clarified. YANG Yanzhao finally gets married with CHAI Meichun.

Cast
Princess CHAI: WANG Rongrong
LYN Mengzheng: SONG Haoyu
ZHAO Defang: LIU Mingzhe
ZHAO Guangyi: QIU Shi
YANG Yanzhao: WEI Xuelei
FU Dingkui: HAN Juming
FU Long: FANG Xu
HU Yanzan: FEI Xiang
BA Ruoli: JI Liexiang
YANG Jiye: FEI Xiang

January 29th: Dragon and Phoenix

LIU Bei occupies Jingzhou and has no intention to return it. Therefore, SUN Quan and ZHOU Yu set up a honey-trap for LIU Bei. SUN Quan pretends to marry his younger sister SUN Shangxiang to LIU Bei and lures him to go across the river for wedding. They intend to take LIU Bei as a hostage and use him to exchange for Jingzhou. Yet, ZHUGE Liang sees through their trick, and counterplots by dispatching ZHAO Yun in company with LIU Bei. ZHUGE Liang tells LIU Bei a secret plan. After crossing the river, as planned, LIU Bei takes advantage of QIAO Xuan, a founding member of Kingdom of Wu. QIAO Xuan promises to help LIU Bei and enters the royal court to report to SUN Quan's mother Empress Dowager WU. Empress Dowager is informed of the truth by SUN Quan, and reprimands SUN Quan very angrily. She arranges for a blind date for SUN Shangxiang in Ganlu Temple. Finally, LIU Bei marries SUN Shangxiang. Disappointed by the failure, ZHOU Yu uses the pleasures and luxuries in the palace to captivate LIU Bei. LIU Bei plays along and pretends to indulge in pleasures and forgets about Jingzhou. As instructed by ZHUGE Liang, ZHAO Yun falsely claims that CAO Cao attacks Jingzhou. LIU Bei eagerly wants to return back. SUN Shangxiang bids her mother a farewell and leaves for Jingzhou with LIU Bei. ZHOU Yu sends out soldiers to chase after them, but all of them are stopped by SUN Shangxiang. ZHOU Yu leads an army and gets to the riverside in person. However, he encounters an ambuscade of ZHANG Fei, and has to recall troops.

Cast
LIU Bei: MA Botong
ZHAO Yun: WANG Xueqing
QIAO Xuan: ZHU Qiang
QIAO Fu: HUANG Baixue
SUN Quan: CHEN Junjie
WU Guotai: KANG Jing
SUN Shangxiang: GUO Wei
ZHOU Yu: LI Hongtu
LU Su: ZHU Qiang
ZHANG Fei: HUANG Yanzhong

Presenter

Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing

Established in 1979, Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing is the largest professional performing arts ensembles of Peking Opera in China. The theatre not only plays a key role in China's traditional opera circle but also enjoys a high overseas reputation. In the process of establishment and development of its arts brand, numerous performing artists made a great contribution, such as the "Four Major Masters of Female Characters" of MEI Lanfang, SHANG Xiaoyun, CHENG Yanqiu, XUN Huisheng, as well as masters of other schools including MA Lianliang, TAN Fuying, ZHANG Junqiu, QIU Shengrong, ZHAO Yanxia, etc. They have left valuable wealth to the theatre.

Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing is also a home of contemporary elites. The gold prize winners of China Drama Plum Blossom Award, MEI Lanfang Award, and the National Peking Opera Competition have formed a major force of the theatre. Outstanding contemporary works of Chancellor LIU Luoguo (an opera of serialized performance), Symphonic Peking Opera MEI Lanfang, The Ode of the River Goddess and YUAN Chonghuan (newly-adapted historical operas) as well as studio-theatre Peking Operas of Splashing Water before the Horse, YAN Xijiao and other excellent pieces have won awards in successive years in a variety of state-level competitions. These achievements represent the constant efforts made by the Jingju Theatre Company of Beijing to reinvigorate Peking Opera and reach a new peak of the performing art of Peking opera.

In addition, the theatre is active in both the domestic and foreign stages. Till now they have left their footprints over all five continents and more than 50 countries and regions.