Photographer: Tower Liu

Presented by Ausfeng, The Legend of the Chinese Song Fairy is the Opera Liu SanJie. Liu SanJie meaning: Lui the third sister in Chinese and is a legendary tale of a singer in Guilin, China known as a song fairy. Guilin is a beautiful part of China that is surrounded by many lakes and rockery hills and mountains.

Zhao Haifeng, the producer of the opera said, “Liu SanJie is a cultural icon of Chinese folk music. Adapting the beautiful story into opera allows more and more people to know about Guilin and the classic folk songs.”

The show is an interesting performance about legend singer Liu San Jie who joins a town of hard-working farmers who are pitted against a landlord who wants to take away their land and then force the beautiful singer Liu SanJie (played by Jiang Ning) to live with him. A tale of rich against the poor as the stakes for this battle are won through a singing contest pitted against one another, with the winner taking all, almost akin to a contemporary battle rap song but with opera and a choir set in ancient times. Great performance were shown by Wu Pan: the song fairy’s lover and Wang Jiayun as the little princess.

Photographer: Tower Liu

The set was stripped back to make way for the 45 opera choir singers and the main actors to sing and battle it out on stage. This opera exhibits a cultural sensitivity about how life was lived in the socio climate of the time of hierarchal structures. With landlords and scholars seen as the paid enemy to the poor with their love of life and simplicity on the land that you cannot buy. This is an insightful opera coming out from The Peoples Republic of China and produced by China National Opera and Dance Theatre and Gui Lin Performing Arts Co. This is a solid performance.

“Established in 1951, the renowned Chinese Orchestra of China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre (CNODDT) has created a large number of popular opera and dance dramas with their unique artistic style. The organisation has fostered a large number of performers who have enjoyed great success across China.” This National company has a long-standing history of performing great theatre.

Rating: 3/5