Tragic legend gets new Peking Opera treatment

Updated 2016-12-02 10:35:26 Shanghai Daily

An updated version of the Peking Opera classic "Prince of Lan Ling" will be staged by the Shanghai Peking Opera Company later this month.

The play chronicles the legendary life of the ancient hero Gao Su. The show will make a trial performance on December 16, but will then be revised and polished based on feedback from the audience.

Shan Yuejin, director of Shanghai Peking Opera Company, says that although the tragic story of Gao has been adapted into numerous film and stage productions, it took them around six years to conceive and produce this new show.

Gao, a prince of the Northern Qi Dynasty (AD 550-577) was known for his handsome looks and martial victories. During battle, he always wore a fearsome mask to hide his face. However, the young emperor was so suspicious and jealous of Gao's reputation and influence over the army that he sent him a cup of poisoned wine.

'Prince Lan Ling in Battle'

Famed Peking Opera performer Jin Xiquan, known for his depiction of young male roles, will star as Gao. To pull off the character, Jin spent several years doing research.

"The real life character was a mix of mystery, bravery and handsomeness," Jin says. "I'm deeply attracted to his story and his short but glorious life."

The mask of Gao, according to Jin, is also a symbol of humanity, and represents the misunderstandings that inevitably arise among people.

The show features spectacular war and martial arts scenes, as well as lavish costumes.

Another highlight of the show is a new presentation of the song and dance routine, "Prince Lan Ling in Battle." This ancient work from the original play was once believed to be lost, but notes on its composition were found in Japan in the 1980s.

Date: December 16, 7:15pm

Venue: Zhou Xinfang Drama Space, 1198 Tianyaoqiao Rd

Tel: 5461-9880

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