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New Year's Greeting Peking Opera: Sprinkling Water in front of the Horse

Presenter: Peking Opera House of Beijing

Venue: Multi-functional Theatre

 Dates: Feb. 17-18, 2010 19:30

Price: 300 200 120 RMB

Programme Introduction

Sprinkling Water in front of the Horse, a Peking Opera presented in studio theatres, was the first attempt of Peking Opera House of Beijing in inheriting and innovating Peking Opera in studio theatres. Since it was put onto the stage, the opera has received tremendous attention and a flood of discussion from audience and insiders of the art industry.

The repertoire retains the plot and dynamic interaction of characters of the traditional play, keeping the scenarios like begging for pity in front of the horse, forcing Zhu to write a divorcement letter and sprinkling water to humiliate his ex-wife. The living conditions and circumstances of the couple, Zhu Maichen and his wife, Cui, were displayed in an atmosphere that is remote yet familiar and believable to the old as well as new audience. The four stylized forms of Peking Opera, the singing, the recitation, the acting and the acrobatic fighting, are put into full play in the repertoire's original framework of stylization that is peculiar to Peking Opera. However, constant flashbacks and inverted structure of the repertoire not only break through the traditional relationship between the audience and the performers, but also activate a connection between an old story and the modern life, therefore provoking the audience to reflect with a strong sensation of heart and helping the traditional Peking Opera take a brand new look.

Synopsis Zhu Maichen was very poor and made a living through cutting firewood on hills. His wife, Cui quarreled with him everyday for the shortage of money. She finally forced Zhu to write a divorcement letter, and leave him to remarry Zhang San, a plasterer. Frustrated, Zhu Michen studied harder than before. Later he outstood from many candidates in imperial competitive examination and was appointed as prefecture chief of Huiji; While Cui was unfortunately expelled by Zhang San and turned into a beggar.

On the day when Zhu went to take office in Hui Ji, Cui came to meet Zhu in the street, begging him to take her in. Despising his ex-wife, Zhu got a basin of water and sprinkled the water on the ground in front of his horse, telling her he would take her in only if she could collect the water in the basin again. Humiliated, Cui was too ashamed to live and hit herself to death.

Zhu Maichen, starred by Zhang Jianfeng (An excellent actor of Xi School specializing in old male characters, postgraduate majoring in Peking Opera, gold medal winner of CCTV Youth Peking Opera Artists TV Competition)

Cui, starred by Zhang Li Yuan (An excellent actress of Zhang School specializing in faithful wife characters, Excellent Acting Award winner in CCTV Youth Peking Opera Artists TV Competition )

Editor: Feng Hui


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