Sold out in Beijing, new Peking Opera starts national tour

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A new Peking Opera production, Na Tu Gui Song, premiered with two performances at the Mei Lanfang Theater in Beijing on Aug. 25 and 26.

The coproduction by the China National Peking Opera Company and the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, was adapted from the classic story, which took place during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) period.

It follows Qian Chu, the last king of the Kingdom of Wuyue (present-day Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, and Shanghai), a small coastal kingdom founded during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms (907-960) period. When the Northern Song Dynasty became an imperial power, the Kingdom of Wuyue was at it height. Usually when two powers meet, the outcome is war. However, Qian chose to pay peacefully allegiance to the Northern Song Dynasty, because he didn't want his people to suffer.

With Peking Opera masters on the creative team, including Yuan Huiqin as artistic director and Luo Zhou as scriptwriter, two star Peking Opera performers, Yu Kuizhi and Li Shengsu, played the leading role, Qian and Qian's concubine.

Young actors and actresses from the company also took part in the performances.

Tickets sold out a week before the premiere. After Beijing, the production will tour nationwide.

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