辜公亮文教基金會

C. F. Koo Foundation

Koo Cloud Theater April 2024



Special Collection from “Flowers Blooming in Spring”

LI Bao-Chun on Traditional Chinese Operas

Koo Cloud YouTube channel:http://bit.ly/3dWIhFm

💟Support Koo Cloud Theater: https://donate.koo.org.tw/

 

4/7

Premier Liu Luo-Guo: the Imperial Examination

Emperor Qian-Long intended to take the daughter of the Sixth Marquee as his concubine. Her Ladyship, known for her spirited nature and skill in Chinese chess, declared that she would marry the person who could defeat her in a game of chess.

Liu Yong went to the capital to take the imperial examination. He stumbled into the Chess House and won a game against Her Ladyship. Emperor Qian-Long, upon witnessing the outcome, requested a rematch. Realizing his opponent was the Emperor, Liu Yong swallowed a chess piece to avoid offending. Impressed by Liu Yong's cleverness, the Emperor promised to grant him the royal marriage if he ranked top in the imperial examination.

He Shen, seeking the Emperor’s favor, tampered with the imperial examination, resulting in Liu Yong's failure. However, Liu Yong managed to thwart He Shen's scheme. Just as Liu Yong finally secured his rank and his marriage, on his wedding night, the Emperor and He Shen appeared, casting uncertainty upon Liu Yong's future.

 

Premier Liu Luo-Guo: a Poem about Plum Blossoms

One day in a year of heavy snow, Emperor Qian-Long came across a spontaneous poetic inspiration and composed the first three-lines of a poem. He was just struggling with the fourth and last line when Liu Yong, with a playful spirit, came up with a closing line, transforming the verse into a masterpiece of poetic elegance. The Emperor gladly acquiesced, but He Shen harbored intense jealousy towards Liu Yong. Later on, Her Ladyship Mrs. Liu Yong inadvertently included this poem in Liu Yong's collection of poetry.

He Shen seized this as evidence and accused Liu Yong of plagiarizing Qianlong's work in the hope to result in Liu Yong's demise. Despite being aware of He Shen's scheme, the Emperor gave Liu Yong a sharp sword and ordered that he end his own life, aiming to annihilate the plume in him.

Liu Yong and his wife, aware of the danger they faced, navigated through this dire situation with great prudence and wit. Finally, they were able to restore the Emperor's favor, while He Shen suffered another humiliating defeat.

 

4/21  Love's Triumph

 

Lu Kun-Jie, a young scholar, was heading for Sichuan to visit his relatives. On his way, he was taken by bandit Di Long-Kang into the mountains where he married Di’s daughter, Di Yun-Luan. Missing his mother dearly, Kun-Jie became unhappy. To distract him, Yun-Luan taught him the skill of dart throwing.

 

Kun-Jie finally learned that his father-in-law was a bandit, as the latter was planning a robbery of government treasury. Kun-Jie expressed his desire to leave the fortress to his wife. However, those who entered the fortress were forbidden to leave. Kun-Jie and Yun-Luan made numerous attempts to escape but were thwarted by Yun-Luan's grandmother and mother. It was Yun-Luan's birth mother who ultimately allowed them to slip away. The husband and wife fought their way down the mountains but were intercepted by Yun-Luan's grandmother at the final gate. Yun-Luan helped Kun-Jie escape first and stayed behind to plead with her grandmother. In the end, her grandmother allowed the young couple to leave.

 

4/14  

 

Yu-Chi Gong Feigned Madness

 

During the early Tang Dynasty, General Yu-Chi Gong, in an attempt to rescue General Xue Ren-Gui, beat up Li Dao-Zong, resulting in his banishment to his hometown. Later, enemies invaded again. General Xue Ren-Gui while defending the border became besieged in Sou-yang. Leaders in the royal court sought the aid of Yu-Chi Gong, yet Yu-Chi Gong feigned madness and refused to resume his service to the state. Cheng Yao-Jin was dispatched to assess Yu-Chi Gong’s “illness” and inform Yu-Chi Gong of the enemies’ attacks. Out of loyalty to his country, Yu-Chi set aside his grievances against the court leaders and went with Cheng Yao-Jin to the battlefield.

 

His Honor the Matchmaker

 

Princess Chai, daughter of King Zhou, was saved by Yang Liu-Lang. She gifted him a pearl blouse as a token of their love. Upon her returning home, she missed Liu-Lang so much that she confided in her brother the Marquess. Together they sought the aid of Lu Meng-Zheng, the esteemed scholar who topped the imperial examination, hoping to sway the Emperor, who had promised the Princess to Fu Ding-Quay, and to annul the existing betrothal, thus enabling her to wed Liu-Lang.

 

4/28

Taking My Lassie Home

 

“Taking My Lassie Home” is a little love episode that happened during Zhao Kuang-Yin’s exile. Zhao Kuang-Yin rescued Zhao Jing-Niang from a bandit attack and decided to escort Jing-Niang home. They pretended to be siblings traveling together. Jing-Niang fell for Zhao Kuang-Yin and expressed her passion for him. Zhao, however, declined. Upon reaching the village Jing-Niang lived in, they parted their ways.

 

Fights in a Melon Garden

 

Zheng Zi-Ming, an oil-vendor, passed by a melon garden one summer. Hot and thirsty, he secretly plucked a watermelon from the garden. This was seen by a maid who reported the theft to the owner’s daughter Tao San-Chun. A fight ensued between San-Chun and Zheng Zi-Ming; San Chun lost. Tao Hung, garden owner and father of San-Chun, showed up. Despite Zi-Ming's initial disregard for Tao Hung, a disabled old man, he was defeated. Impressed by Zi-Ming's martial skill and straightforwardness, Tao Hung decided to marry his daughter to him.