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Legend of the White Snake -Beijing Opera DVD

  • Legend of White Snake DVD
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Product Description

Product: Peking Opera Bai She Zhuan
Starring: Diao Li, Song Xiaochuan
Performed by the Second Troupe of China National Peking Opera Company
Published by Beijing Culture & Art Audio-Visual Publishing House, 2005
Media: 2 DVD
Language: Chinese
Subtitle: Chinese
ISBN: 7883012258
ISRC: CN-C02-05-0009-0/V.J8
This performance (full-length) is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of China Peking Opera Theatre.

The Legend of White Snake, the White Snake

Madame White Snake, Legend of the White Snake, is a Chinese legend, which existed as oral traditions before any written compilation of the Ming Dynasty. It has since become a major subject of several Chinese opera, films, and TV series.
The story tells of a young scholar, Xu Xian, who falls in love with a beautiful woman Bai Suzhen, unaware that she is a white snake which has taken on human form. A Taoist monk Fa Hai intervenes in order to save the scholar's soul and casts the white snake into a deep well at the Leifeng Pagoda.
The Story is set in the Southern Song Dynasty. Over the centuries the story has evolved from horror story to romance with the scholar and the white snake-woman genuinely in love with one another. An added character is a green snake Xiao Qing who has also been turned into a woman and serves as the white snake-woman's companion and confidante. Bai and Xu got married, opened a medicine shop and lived happily at the West Lake in Hangzhou. When the town was struck by a plague and it was soon on the verge of becoming extinct, Bai and Qing obtained the magical herb needed to help the population. But a sorcerer called Fa Hai believes it is the disaster that demons bring about and tries to eliminate Bai and Qing. On the fifth day of the fifth month, the Dragon Boat Festival is held. It is said the day that demons revert to their true selves. Xu Xian falls for Fa Hai's tricks and fuddles his wife with realgar wine. Drunken Bai shows her true self, scaring Xian literally to death! Bai retrieves the herbal medicine and brings Xian back to life. Later Bai gets pregnant, but Xu Xian falls for Fa Hai's tricks yet again and goes to the Golden Mount Temple. Having battled with Fa Hai, Bai and Qing meet Xu at the Broken Bridge of the West Lake, and Bei tells her husband the truth about her origin and her difficulties after giving birth to a son. Xian is heart-touched and kindly accepts her. The lovers are united.
The plot of White Snake is full of magic: snakes turning themselves into women, monsters, battles among heavenly creatures and demons, and so on. Magic, history, myth, and legend in the opera meld nicely into potent overarching themselves like love and power.

beijing opera white snake


Leifeng Pagoda at West Lake

Broken Bridge at West Lake

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