The Scholar of Ba-Shan was adapted by Li Bao-chun from a Sichuan Opera of the same title, and was written by Wei Ming-lun, a renowned Chinese playwright. In this version, the plot, lyrics and vocal music were all revised from the original version. In 2003 when the opera was first performed at the Na...Read more
The Scholar of Ba-Shan was adapted by Li Bao-chun from a Sichuan Opera of the same title, and was written by Wei Ming-lun, a renowned Chinese playwright. In this version, the plot, lyrics and vocal music were all revised from the original version. In 2003 when the opera was first performed at the National Opera House in Taipei, Li Bao-chun played the scholar, Meng Deng-ke, a character combining elements of lao-sheng (an old male character) and a clown, and vividly presented the pedant who often chants passages from ancient scriptures on stage. Yet he is a dignified person who insists to prosecute corrupt officials in the court after witnessing Ba-Shan being attacked by officers and soldiers. In 2004 the opera won four awards, including the “Special Judges’ Award”,”Best Male Actor”, “Best Female Actor”, and “Best Supporting Actor” at the Fourth Chinese Beijing Opera Festival. In 2011, the opera was staged for the third time, and Wang Yan, a renowned Chinese actor, was invited to play the role of Mrs. Meng, while Yang Yan played Heng Bao, Chang Guei-xiang played Sun Yu-tian, and Huang Yu-lin, a highly regarded Taiwanese actor, played Ni-shang.
Set in Ba-Shan County of Sichuan Province during the reign of Emperor Guang-xu of the Qing Dynasty, the opera deals with how the common folk suffer from drought and implore the government to distribute food to relieve those suffering in the stricken areas, but all in vain. Sun Yu, a corrupt official, lies to his superior that the people rebelled against the government, so Governor Heng Bao gives the order to crush the riot by sending troops to kill the innocent people. Scholar Meng Deng-ke tries to raise his voice on behalf of the people but is suppressed by officials. Fortunately, he encounters Ni-shang before being sent off to jail. Ni-shang advises him to write an appeal and puts it inside his exam paper. Though the court responds to his appeal, in the end he is framed and is ordered by the emperor to take his own life by drinking from a cup of poisoned wine.
|Group||Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theatre|
|Creative staff||Taipei Li-yuan Peking Opera Theatre|
|Subtitle||Mandarin Chinese /English|
|Other Works||The Battle of Wei-Nan The Wilderness The Jester|