Product: Peking Opera Feng Huan Chao
Starring: Chen Shufang, Yu Wanzeng, Lv Kunshan
Performed by the Third Troupe of China National Peking Opera Company
Published by Beijing Culture & Art Audio-Visual Publishing House, 2005
Media: 1 DVD
This classic Beijing opera play was performed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of China Peking Opera Theatre
Peking Opera Fenghuanchao, Homecoming of a Phoenix, The Return of the Phoenix to the Nest, The Phoenix Returns to Her Nest
A senior court minister Cheng Pu retires from his office and goes home. He has two daughters, the elder, Xueyan, is very plain, and the other, Xue'e, is beautiful and kind-hearted. One day, Cheng and his friend Zhu Huanran take a ride to the country to enjoy the spring scene. They meet Mu Juyi, son of another old friend. Cheng likes the young man so much that he asks him to come to his birthday party, with the hope that he would give him his daughter Xue'e as wife. But back home, Lady Cheng wants him to marry his elder daughter off first, since Xue'e is the daughter of the concubine. The two get into a squabble because of this. On his birthday, Zhu Huanran comes to visit and asks for the hand of 'young Lady Cheng'. He is taken for Mu by Lady Cheng. Later, Mu himself comes to visit. Cheng offers to give him one of his daughters and invites him to stay the night at the study. When Xueyan the elder daughter knows of this, she pays Mu a nocturnal visit, in the name of her younger sister. Mu is repelled by her ugly looks, and flees from the Cheng residence immediately. On the way, he comes across Zhu, who finds it a golden opportunity to get Mu out of the way so that he can have the pretty Xue'e for himself. He offers Mu money and a horse and tells him to run as far as he can. It so happens that Cheng Pu is ordered by the Emperor to return to the battlefield with Commissioner Zhou. When he meets Mu on the road, he reprimands him for leaving so hastily. Mu gives him an excuse, which he accepts and takes him into his squadron. Back home, Zhu goes to greet his bride as an imposter of Mu. Lady Cheng sends Xueyan in place of Xue'e. Zhu only discovers that he has got the wrong bride that wedding night, but there is nothing he can do. When there is unrest in the area, Lady Cheng wants to take refuge in Zhu's place. Xue'e refuses to come along. Cheng Pu suppresses the rebels and welcomes his daughter, Xue'e to the camp. He brings up the marriage proposal to Mu again. Still working under the illusion that Xue'e is the plain one, Mu adamantly refuses. But the Marshall and the Commissioner force him to accept by performing the wedding for them. He only discovers the mistake when he meets his bride at the bridal chamber. He apologizes profusely to his new wife for his ungracious behavior before. On the other hand, Zhu's residence is ransacked. He brings his wife and his mother-in-law to meet up with Cheng, and it is a happy reunion for all.