Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Chinese Opera: Women in Times of War

On August 11th, I had the pleasure of attending Chinese Opera: Women in Times of War performed by members of Seattle's Hwa Sheng Chinese Opera Club at Meydenbauer Center.

The Program:

On the Hillside - Excerpt from the Chinese legend of Xue Ping-Gui and Wang Bao-Chuan, set in the Tang Dynasty.  

Bao-Chuan, the daughter of the prime minister, fell in love with beggar, Ping-Gui.  Ping-Gui had gone off to war and survived several attempts on his life orchestrated by the prime minister before being captured by the Princess of Xiliang.  Her father spared Ping-Gui's life and offered his daughter's hand in marriage.  Following the king's death, Ping-Gui became king of Xiliang and after 18 years away returns to his first love, Bao-Chuan.

The Woman Spy - Excerpt from the story of one of the legendary four beauties of ancient China, Xi Shi, set in the Zhou Dynasty.

Xi Shi, a poor village girl, is recruited by the wandering magistrate Fan Li and presented to the king of the rival Wu kingdom to serve as a seductress and spy for Yue.  Over the years in this role, she holds onto her secret love for Fan Li.  Following the death of the Wu king and the restoration of Yue, she is reunited with Fan Li and they retire to a quiet life together.

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