Vancouver Cantonese Opera presents “The Romance of the Broken Mirror” on July 11, 2015 (Saturday), at the Michael J. Fox Theatre, at 7:00 p.m.
This opera is a tragic love story that takes place during the founding of the Sui Dynasty (581-618 A.D.), a time of chaos. Yang Yue, a Sui general, is leading an army to attack the Kingdom of Chen in the south, which could not resist the powerful Sui army and is losing the battle. It is arranged that the Princess Consort, Xu Deyan, should flee the capital with the important genealogy documents and bring them to safety. Before he departs, he says farewell to his wife, Princess Lechang. She breaks a bronze mirror into two halves. Each of them keeps one half so that these become the tokens of their reunion on a later day.
Meanwhile, Yang Yue’s army has arrived at the palace and is searching for the members of the royal household. In order to gain time for Deyan’s escape, Lechang bravely goes to talk to Yang Yue in disguise and flirts with him. When Yang Yue discovers her tricks and wants to kill her, she is willing to face death fearlessly. Yang Yue is impressed by her courage and sympathizes with her. He therefore wants to rescue her from the destruction of her kingdom. He asks her to impersonate his late wife, and arranges to have her and her son taken back to his home in the capital, Changan.
At the beginning, Yang Yue and Lechang just pretend to be a married couple. As time goes by, Lechang can feel Yang Yue’s true love for her; she decides to become his wife, not just in name. Ten years later, when Deyan is selling one half of the broken mirror on the street in Changan, he meets his son, Xiaode, and knows his wife is remarried. As soon as Yang Yue comes to know about the pledge of the broken mirror, he decides to make Lechang happy by sending her back to her former husband although his heart tells him not to. Yang Yue starts treating Lechang abusively, so she will leave him while Deyan feels Lechang should stay with Yang Yue, so they both refuse to have her back. Lechang gets caught between the two beloved – she feels she has betrayed Deyan for marrying Yang Yue and does not want to let Yang Yue down for his love and benevolence. The dilemma is too much for her. .