The Peony Pavilion & The Jade Hairpin

24 January 2013

Sydney Festival special offer to the Confucius Institute community: buy a group

of 4 tickets or more, and save 20%. Quote "SFDAILY" when booking.

This is a rare opportunity to experience two of Kunqu's signature works starring Wei Chunrong, one of the Kunqu's most distinguished artists. Sydney Festival special offer to the Confucius Institute community: buy 4 tickets or more and save 20%. Quote "SFDAILY" when booking. Since 2009, the Confucius Institute has presented four Chinese Kunqu performances in Sydney and introduced this traditional Chinese art form to more than three thousand Australians. We are delighted to see that the Sydney Festival is expanding its diverse program, and presents an Australian exclusive: the Peony Pavilion & the Jade Hairpin. Kunqu is one of the oldest and most refined styles of Chinese opera. It is regarded as the 'mother' of Chinese theatre, having spawned many other forms, and is listed as one of UNESCO's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Created during the Ming Dynasty, the Peony Pavilion has endured as a classic of Kunqu. The passionate story of the impoverished yet bright Liu Mengmei and the Nanan Governor's privileged daughter Du Liniang comes vibrantly into play through love, death, dreams and a visit from the Lord of the Underworld. In the story, Du Liniang dreams of falling in love with a young scholar, Liu Mengmei. When she awakes, she knows that Liu Mengmei is but a dream, but still she pines and dies for a love that never was. This is just the beginning of her troubles however, when the Lord of the Underworld decides that Du Liniang must return to the living in order to live-out her destiny.

In The Jade Hairpin, the main character Pan, after failing his exams, runs shamefaced to his aunt's convent where he meets Chen, a Taoist nun, who has her own reasons for hiding in a convent. The two fall hopelessly in love, but must overcome obstacles of re-sitting exams and true identity before they can be together.

The Peony Pavilion and the Jade Hairpin combines ornate costumes and elaborate make-up with live music and exquisitely precise choreographed movement. Both performances star award-winning singer/actress Wei Chunrong, widely recognised throughout China and Europe as one of Kunqu's most distinguished artists.

Both productions are performed in Mandarin with English subtitles.

Founded in 1957 in Beijing, The Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre specialises in the northern style of Kunqu opera, preserving and researching traditional repertoire. The company performs regularly in Beijing at the Mei Lanfang Theatre and the National Centre for Performing Arts. The China Northern Kunqu Opera Theatre has toured America, Japan, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Italy, Denmark as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Date: The Peony Pavilion, January 24, 26 at 7.15pm
Date: The Jade Hairpin, January 25 at 7.15pm, January 26 at 2.00pm
Venue: Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre

For booking, phone 1300 668 812. Online booking:

Contact: Confucius Institute

Phone: 02 9036 7512

Email: 055b0b5547365b5e0262013625462a3631472c722b171c2c102f6b1f5d374d0e32