100 Classical Acts of Kunqu Operas
-Stage Artist Movies, Collection Edition
Produced by Zhejiang Wenyi Audio-Visual Publishing House, Zhejiang Kunqu Theatre
Published by Zhejiang Wenyin Yinxiang Chubanshe, 2007
Medium: 49 DVD discs, collection edition, refine pack
ISBN: 7884176165; 9787884176168
This collection contains 100 classical acts of famous Kunqu operas that are performed in Kunqu theatres, including excerpts from The Peony Pavilion, The Palace of Eternal Youth, The Peach Blossom Fan, The Butterfly Dream, The Injustice Done to Dou E, Fifteen Strings of Copper Coins, The West Chamber, The Legend of the Jade Hairpin, The Legend of the Purple Hair Pin, The Story of the Precious Sword, Bringing a Single Broadsword to the Armed Banquet, The Swallow Letter, The Precious Lotus Lantern, Ballad of Pipa, The Story of the Embroidered Jacket, The Story of the Phoenix, Conspiracy by the Eastern Window, The Story of the Wicked Sea, The Story of the Red Pear Blossoms, The Tale of Frightened Swan Goose, etc.
Kunqu, also known as Kunju, Kun opera or Kunqu Opera, is one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. It evolved from the Kunshan melody, and dominated Chinese theatre from the 16th to the 18th centuries.
Plays that continue to be famous today, including The Peony Pavilion and The Peach Blossom Fan, were originally written for the Kunqu stage. In addition, many classical Chinese novels and stories, such as Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Water Margin and Journey to the West were adapted very early into dramatic pieces.
Today, Kunqu is performed professionally in seven Mainland Chinese cities: Beijing (Northern Kunqu Theatre), Shanghai (Shanghai Kunqu Theatre), Suzhou (Suzhou Kunqu Theatre), Nanjing (Jiangsu Province Kunqu Theatre), Chenzhou (Hunan Kunqu Theatre), Yongjia County/Wenzhou (Yongjia Kunqu Theatre) and Hangzhou (Zhejiang Province Kunqu Theatre), as well as in Taipei.
Kunqu was listed as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. Its melody or tune is one of the Four Great Characteristic Melodies in Chinese opera.