Yu Ma Ji, adapted from William Shakespeare’s Richard the Third
The Confucius Institute of the University of Aberdeen is delighted to present the Xinzhou Chu Opera Troupe of Wuhan for the first time in Scotland with their unique adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard the Third. Fusing dance, acrobatics, singing and traditional Chinese musical instruments. Synopsis
In ancient times, Prince Wu (Richard) follows his crown brother Xuan (Edward) on a warring expedition and captures a precious horse which would be dedicated to the king upon their triumphal return. However upon return, with the support of generals, Xuan glorifies the dedication alone. Wu deplores his loss of the glory and, as a horse of desire emerges in his heart, pledges to ride the horse to the throne. When the king falls fatally ill, Wu spreads a rumor to ruin his own brother, tricks his sister-in-law (Lady Anne) into marrying himself, murders all his rivals and usurps the kingdom. However, he fails to wrangle the horse of his own desire. The denouement reveals his forsaken defeat. He is deserted by all the generals and killed by his nephew (Richmond) in the battlefield after his desperate cry to trade off his kingdom for a horse in vain. Chu Opera
Chu opera, a genre originated in north Wuhan, capital of Hubei, features folksy O-He tunes dating back in the Daoguan reign of the Qing dynasty (1821-1851). Combining dance and acrobatics, the aria is sung accompanied by the orchestra of two-string melodic fiddles and percussive drum and gongs.