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Film director takes on Kunqu Opera

2010-04-14 08:54 BJT


Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan is famous for his big screen achievements such as "Rouge" in 1988 and "Center Stage" in 1992. But his latest effort is to present a crossover project, the Kunqu opera "Two Belles in Love" by Qing dynasty playwright Li Yu.

The new production is slated to premiere in Beijing this May, some 350 years after it was composed.

The new production is slated to premiere in Beijing this May, some 350 years after it was composed. 
The new production is slated to premiere in Beijing
this May, some 350 years after it was composed.

"Two Belles in Love" revolves around Qing dynasty beauties Cui Jianyun and Cao Huayu. The platonic love stems from their mutual admiration for each other's talents and they become one another's confidante.

This will be Stanley Kwan's first time to direct a Kunqu stage production. Although a newcomer to the genre, Kwan says he believes that fetal education may have sparked his first interest in opera.

Stanley Kwan said, "When my mother was pregnant, she attended various opera performances, the Shanghai Opera and Guangdong Opera. That was probably the start of my early interest. When I was doing this project, I asked myself what a film director could bring to a Kunqu production. I think I will try to help performers better understand their parts."

"Two Belles in Love" features two casts, an all-male and an all-female versions. All performers come from Beifang Kunqu opera troupes, and are around twenty years of age.

"Two Belles in Love" marks the 400th anniversary of Li Yu's birth. The opera is to run for four consecutive nights from May 11th to 14th in Beijing before heading for Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Chengdu.

Editor: Liu Fang | Source: CCTV.com