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May 24, 2019

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Kunqu Opera explores a great painful soul

KUNSHAN Modern Kunqu Opera Theater will present a biopic play “Gu Yanwu” tomorrow and Sunday at Fudan University, as part of the 12th China Art Festival.

It’s the story of the life of Gu Yanwu (1613-1682), a patriotic Chinese scholar hailing from Kunshan.

Gu was a well-known Confucian thinker and scholar. He spent his youth during the Manchu conquest in anti-Manchu activities after the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) had been overthrown.

He vowed never to serve the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). For centuries, Gu’s famous aphorism “the rise and fall of the nation concerns everyone” has inspired and touched generations of Chinese people.

The play is directed by Lu Ang, head of the Directing Department of the Shanghai Theater Academy. It is the second time Lu directs a Kunqu Opera play since his 1995 work “Sima Xiangru,” named after the Chinese poet, writer, musician, and politician who lived during the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD).

Celebrated Kunqu Opera performer Ke Jun, who is also a winner of the Plum Blossom Award, plays Gu.

Talented young scriptwriter Luo Zhou wrote the script. Several excerpts will be featured in the story to look back on the thinker’s life.

Luo once told the press that the play is also an exploration of Gu’s great, lonely and painful soul, and a tribute to his contribution to Chinese culture.

Originating in Kunshan in Jiangsu Province, Kunqu Opera has a history of more than 600 years. It was listed by the UNESCO as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2001.


Date: May 25-26, 7:30pm
Tickets: 60-380 yuan

Tel: 6272-0455

Venue: Xianghui Hall, Fudan University, 220 Handan Rd


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