Koo Cloud Theater January 2023
Special Collection from “Flowers Blooming in Spring”
LI Bao-Chun on Traditional Chinese Operas
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1/1 Legend of the White Snake
A thousand-year-old white snake in the E-Mei Mountains decided to visit the famous West Lake. Together with her maid, a green snake, she transformed herself into a beautiful young lady. While touring the West Lake, she met a handsome young man in the rain. She and the young man shared an umbrella and fell in love with each other. Later on, the white snake married the young man.
A monk in the Jin-Shan Temple heard about this marriage. He encouraged the young man to serve liquor to his wife at the Dragon-boat Festival. After a few reluctant drinks, the beautiful lady revealed her true identity. The appearance of a snake in his bed frightened the young man into a coma. The white snake journeyed to a sacred mountain for the medicine which successfully helped her husband regain consciousness.
The monk came again to save the young man’s soul. He asked the young man to call at the Jin-Shan Temple, and, upon the young man’s arrival, shut him up in the monastery. The pregnant white snake, accompanied by the green snake, went for her husband and got into a battle with the monk who enlisted the assistance of celestial guards. The snakes, commending fishes and turtles, caused a flood, nearly destroyed the temple, and fled.
On their way home, the snakes met the young man who also fled the Jin-Shan Temple. They stayed at the young man’s sister’s where the white snake gave birth to a baby boy. A month later, the monk came again to save the young man’s soul. This time he succeeded in catching the white snake and throwing her into darkness under the Lei-Feng Tower.
1/8 His Honor the Match-Maker
The King of Song and Princess Chai Mei-Chun were captured by their enemy on a hunting trip and were saved by the young and valiant General Yang Yan-Zhao, but the King took another warrior, Fu Ding-Kui, for their rescuer and decided to marry the Princess to Fu. The Princess adored General Yang Yan-Zhao, so she sent him a poem of love and a shirt decorated with pearls. Duke Ba-Xian learned about the Princess’s feeling and reported it to the King. However, the King insisted that Fu Ding-Kui was his rescuer. Both young men were summoned to recount how they had rescued the King, and the truth was finally revealed. Yang Yan-Zhao married the Princess in the end.
1/15 Su San, the Victim Girl (alias Yu Tang Chun)
Su San became a prostitute and worked in a brothel house where she met the minister’s son Wang Jin-Long. After Wang spent all his money on Su San, he was thrown out of the brothel house, and Su San sold to a rich businessman, Shen Yan-Lin. Shen’s wife tried to poison Su San, but, by accident, killed Shen Yan-Lin instead. She then framed Su San for the offense, and Su San was sentenced to death. When Su San was on her final trial, Wang Jin-Long succeeded in the state examination and was appointed supreme judge. He took on Su San’s case and cleared her from the crime she was wrongfully accused of, and the couple finally were able to reunite.