Vancouver Cantonese Opera presents “The Legend of the Red Peony” on April 18, 2015 (Saturday), at the Michael J. Fox Theatre, at 7:00 p.m.
One day in the Tang court, the Tang Emperor is having an audience with his officials when one of them tries to flatter him. He tells the Emperor how well he has governed the kingdom, and that everyone is enjoying a peaceful and prosperous life. The official says that even flowers benefit from his benevolent rule and at his command could all blossom beautifully at the same time.
His royal concubine, Lady Wu, is eager to please the Emperor, so she tells him she is willing to try on his behalf to make all flowers blossom at once. Then she writes up a decree and sends it to the Flower God to carry out that order.
The Flower God realizes that Lady Wu will become the first Empress in China and is a person to reckon with, so he beats the drum to tell all flowers to blossom at once. One of the flower fairies, Fairy Red Peony, refuses to obey the order. She thinks Lady Wu has no right to upset the natural order. The Flower God is furious and decides to punish Peony.
Meanwhile, in the mortal world, Lady Wu finds out that the peony flowers refuse to blossom out of season. She then orders that all the peonies be destroyed. A mortal called Man-hon, who is an ardent peony admirer, stands up to defend the innocent flowers against the magistrate’s order and willingly helps Peony to flee to a safe place. Peony is extremely touched by his sincerity and integrity. She wants to repay his kindness and so becomes his wife.
The Flower God finally finds out where Peony has been hiding in Loyang, and leads his army of gods to capture her. In the end, Peony is no match for these powerful enemies and is badly beaten. When Man-hon finds out about Peony’s injury, he is at a loss as to what to do. At that point the Spring Breeze God comes to his aid. He tells Man-hon to seek the Goddess of Mercy’s assistance.
Will Man-hon be able to revive Peony? Come and find out on April 18th, 2015 at the MJF Theatre.
唐高宗之武曌. 以高宗晚年多病, 因而臨朝執政. 帝一向愛植花卉, 武后為討其歡心,，時值隆冬, 仍思百花齊放, 於是寫下詔書上奏天庭, 懇使花神促令宮內各類花卉立即綻放. 花神接詔後, 因預知武后日後必趨大紅大紫, 於是擊起催花鼓, 促命百花齊放,
獨牡丹仙子紅萼, 以個性專橫之武后無端破壞循環氣節, 等如逆天行事, 拒不從命. 花神大怒, 從 天庭召 合雨, 電, 風, 雷各神, 一同駕電排雲下凡, 追蹤至洛陽, 紅萼雖力拒, 卻以體弱被毆至重傷垂死. 此際文翰正悲痛欲絕.
一向與紅萼深交之春風大哥, 卻趕來指引文翰拜上紫竹林, 乞請觀音大士賜施楊枝甘露, 俾紅萼服後得以痊癒. 文翰果從觀音大士手中獲取楊枝金露, 但紅萼服飲後仍無起色, 終於花榭人亡.
劇情發展至此, 台上出現文翰慈母, 催促文翰即與金家女成親. 花轎臨門之時, 文翰在一家簇擁下發覺金氏女之花容月貌, 正與紅萼一無異致. 原來觀音大士設法將牡丹之魂魄附於金家女, 眼前之新娘即紅萼牡丹. 最終, 文翰與紅萼在衆仙女相伴紅萼起舞下, 相相跪下拜堂成親, 有情人終成美眷