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New Kunqu production pays homage to Macao

Updated: 2020-10-23 07:49:39


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Kunqu Opera artist Chen Shutong portrays Italian missionary Matteo Ricci, who has an encounter with the playwright Tang Xianzu in Dream Shadow: Peony Pavilion. CHINA DAILY

One of the most performed Kunqu Opera plays in and out of China, Peony Pavilion is the first in China's theatrical history to mention Macao, the special administration region in southern China.

A new theater production titled Dream Shadow: Peony Pavilion will present the Kunqu Opera play, which highlights episodes featuring Macao, combined with the playwright's visit to Macao, his discoveries and experiences in the city, as well as his description of the city in Peony Pavilion.

The production will premiere at the Yu Yin Ge theater in Shanghai's Baoshan district on Oct 24.

In 1591, Tang Xianzu (1550-1616), an official who was expelled from the imperial court to the faraway Guangzhou in South China's Guangdong province, paid a visit to Macao and was greatly impressed with the exotic colors and cultural fusion between China and the West.

His experience was later expressed in his poetry and essay compositions, as well as the script of Peony Pavilion, his most famous theater creation.

"Academics found that Peony Pavilion by Tang Xianzu marked the first time Macao was mentioned in Chinese theater," according to Li Huiyin, producer of the new production.

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