New Dragon Inn (Cancelled)

Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company

20/5 │ Saturday │ 19:30
Grand Auditorium, Macao Cultural Centre
Tickets: MOP 300, 220, 120

"Peking opera New Dragon Inn is not only a new adaptation, but also a production that brings together martial arts actors, and where young Peking opera actors display their skills, gain experience and make breakthroughs…" Xinmin Evening News

Adapted from the eponymous film, Peking opera New Dragon Inn tells the story of Ming dynasty General Zhou Huaian, who protects the orphans of a loyal official from being chased by secret agents. He finally manages to eliminate all the enemies and escape from danger. This adaptation retains the storyline and relationship of the characters of the original, while deconstructing and interpreting the story using the aesthetics and artistic techniques of traditional Chinese opera.

After three years in preparation, the Peking opera New Dragon Inn premiered in 2019 to great acclaim. In 2021, Shi Yihong, an accomplished qingyi artist of the Mei school from Shanghai Jingju Theatre Company who is also the producer and lead actress of this performance, joined hands with the revival director Liu Jun to restage the work into this new Shanghai-style Peking opera. This production has toured numerous cities to showcase the glamour of Peking opera.

Producer: Shi Yihong
Playwrights: Xin Fuchen and Hu Xuehua
Director: Hu Xuehua
Revival Director: Liu Jun
Presented by: HYM Cultural Media Co., Ltd

Characters and Cast
Jin Xiangyu / Qiu Moyan: Shi Yihong
Zhou Huaian: Wang Xilong
Jia Ting: Sun Wei
Cao Shaoqin: Chen Lin

Duration: Approximately 2 hours and 35 minutes, including one interval
Performed in Mandarin, with surtitles in Chinese and English

* New Dragon Inn was cancelled due to the illness of protagonist

Introductory Text

The performers demonstrate their skills through stunning stage combat, and the appeal of traditional Peking opera is unleashed via the antique librettos. With a vast experience in both film and theatrical production, director Hu Xuehua is well acquainted with the psychology of contemporary audiences. The scene changes are smooth, and the tone and pace of voice are changed between breaths. The audience cannot help cheering at the breath-taking moments, indulging in the long lyrical passages. Captivating modern dance acts have been integrated into the story, proving to be not at all redundant in terms of structure and style but have instead enriched and elevated the aesthetic appeal of the stage performance.

The characters are also portrayed in a new and impressive way. Jin Xiangyu played by Shi Yihong is charming in a style different from Maggie Cheung’s interpretation. In contrast to the coquettish character played by Maggie Cheung, Shi’s interpretation portrays a distinctive inner strength. As the quote goes, “there are good people even among rogues”, Shi on the stage is enchantingly skilful in both singing and martial roles, embodying the perfect combination of the elegance of the Mei School, light-heartedness of the Xun School, the sentimentality of the Cheng School and the vigour of the Shang School. While being vulgar and witty, the heroine also shows her virtuous and heroic side. Despite appearing to be romantic and enchanting, she is revealed as a lovable and respectable person as the story unfolds.


By Wang Yang
Associate professor at the School of Journalism & Communication of Shanghai University, Vice Chairman of the Shenzhen Literary and Art Critics Association, Vice Chairman of the Shenzhen Art and Science Association, documentary director, playwright and film critic.

This article is excerpted and translated from Chinese

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