Vladivostok, Primorsky Stage, Great Hall

The Legend of the White Snake

Peking opera

Performed in Chinese (the performance will have synchronised Russian supertitles)

Performers

Bai Suzhen — Fu Jia
Xu Xian — Zhang Bing
Xiao Qing — Bai Weichen
Fa Hai — Tan Shuai
Shipmaster, Monk — Zhang Yaning
Crane — Wang Yuzhou
Deer — Zhu Lingyu
Jia Lan — Xie Tianyi
Wei Tuo — Ma Along
Pagoda God — Gu Qian
Na Ji Immortal — Huang Jia

Solists and Musical Ensemble of the China National Peking Opera Company
Conductor, small chinese drum: Ni Qisen
Master of huqin playing: Hu Guyue

Credits

Libretto by Tian Han
Artistic Director: Du Jinfang
Stage Directors: Du Jinfang, Ye Shaolan
Arrangement of the Music for Peking Opera Voices: Du Jinfang
Stage Staff Manager: Li Fushun
Sound Effects: Guo Yuchen
Executive Administer: Chen Ying

SYNOPSIS

Act I: A meeting at the lake. Xu Xian was returning home by boat, when he accidentally met two girls - Bai Suzhen (the White Snake) and Xiao Qing (the Blue Snake). Xu and Bai immediately fell in love with each other. It was raining and Xu gave Bai his umbrella. The young people agreed to meet again.

Act 2: Marriage. Having met for the second time, Xu Xian and Bai Suzhen got married.

Act 3: The plot. The monk Fa Hai knows that Bai Suzhen is a snake who has taken form of a beautiful maiden. He is determined to destroy this marriage and tries to persuade Xu Xian to divorce Bai Suzhen. Fa Hai suggests that Xu Xian should give to his wife some potion that will reveal her true identity.

Act 4: Defeat. On the day of the Dragon Boat Festival (Дуаньу Сюй Сянь), Xu Xian convinced his wife to have some wine, which had been mixed with the potion. Having drunk the wine, Bai Suzhen did turn back into the White Snake. Xu Xian’s shock was so great that he was on the verge of death.

Act 5: Saving the husband. Trying to save her husband and bring him back to life, Bai Suzhen embarks on a perilous journey to the mountains to look for some vulnerary herbs. There, she meets celestial beings — a Crane and a Deer. Then Na Ji Immortal appears. Being moved by her story, he gave Bai Suzhen a healing potion.

Act 6: A wicked plan. Having learnt about Xu Xian’s recovery, Fa Hai devised another wicked plan. He convinced Xu Xian to take monastic vows in the Jinshan Temple.

Act 7: In search of the husband. Bai Suzhen is very concerned about her husband's disappearance from home. In search for her husband she arrives at the Temple, but the monk would not let her in.
Act 8: Battle. In anger, Bai Suzhen raises the water of the West Lake, flooding the Temple. But as she was pregnant, her powers were limited and she could not defeat the monk Fa Hai.
Act 9: Escape. Xu Xian escapes from the temple due to the help of one of the novices.
Act 10: The Duanqiao Bridge. Bai Suzhen and Xiao Qing go to the Duanqiao Bridge at Xīhu Lake, where the girls met Xu Xian for the first time. And then they saw him again – he had just escaped from the Temple. Lovers reunite.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

This piece is a Chinese legend, which has been used as a popular subject in several Chinese operas, films and television series. The story tells of a young scholar Xu Xian who falls in love with a beautiful woman, unaware that she is actually a thousand-year-old white snake that has taken on human form. A monk named Fahai, envious of their love, devises many wicked plans in order to separate the couple. After many trials and tribulations, the white snake and Xu Xian are reunited.

China National Peking Opera Company

Established in January 1955, China National Peking Opera Company (CNPOC) is a national organization of performing arts directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. The first President of CNPOC was the great master Mei Lanfang. Today CNPOC consists of three performance Troupes, one Stage Art Center and the Mei Lanfang Great Theatre.

Since its founding, the company has brought together a large number of outstanding performing artists and playwrights, directors, composers and stage artists, who enjoy a high reputation both at home and abroad, such as Li Shaochun, Yuan Shihai, Ye Shenlan, Du Jinfang, Ajia, Weng Ouhong and Fan Junhong and others. With a big number of masters, CNPOC has developed into a performing organization of Peking Opera with great advantages.

For 60 years, CNPOC has inherited, created, and staged more than 500 traditional, newly-written historical and contemporary Peking Opera Plays with various themes and forms. Up to now, it has developed an art spirit of inheritance, innovation, adaptations from other artistic forms and well portraying characters. Moreover, it has created an artistic style with rich contents, profound thoughts, various schools, and a well-balanced cast.

More than 50 plays and over 200 members of CNPOC have won awards in national and international performance competitions. In recent years, it has always been on the list of winners of China’s major cultural awards, such as the Splendor Award (for professional theatrical artworks), the Best Works Award, China Peking Opera Festival Gold Award, Works of Excellence on the Nation’s stage, Mei Lanfang Gold Award, Plum Blossom Award and others.

Cultural exchange is one of the major tasks of CNPOC. It has been organizing performances around the world, covering over 50 countries and regions on five continents, and won a good international reputation. Through these activities, CNPOC has made contributions to promote Sino-foreign cultural exchanges as well as enhancing the friendship between Chinese people and the people of the world.


Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes
The performance has one interval

Age category 6+

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