Experimental Kunqu Opera: ‘Peony Pavilion’ and ‘The Palace of Eternal Life’
Why We Recommend it
This cross-genre production by the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO) stages two enduring Kunqu operas that both celebrate love that is above and beyond life and death.
This experimental show integrates the centuries-old art form Kunqu with a modern Chinese orchestra, aiming to bring together the essential spirit of traditional Chinese theatre and the theatricality of a full-scale, modern orchestra in Chinese music.
In Peony Pavilion, written by iconic playwright Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), one actor plays four different characters of four different role types. The romantic tragicomedy tells the story of the love between Liu Mengmei and Du Liniang, who have to transcend time and space, as well as life and death, to get together.
Characters in The Palace of Eternal Life written by Qing Dynasty librettist Hong Sheng (1645-1704) appear in modern as well as period costumes to portray the vow of eternal love between Emperor Ming of Tang and Yang Yuhuan, his favourite concubine.
To read more about the rich history of Chinese opera, click here.