Product: Yue (Shaoxing) Opera A Dream of Red Mansions (Hong Lou Meng)
Starring: Xu Yulan, Wang Wenjuan
Performed by Shanghai Film (Group) Corporation
Published by Jiangsu Culture Audio-Visual Publishing House, 2005
Media: 2 DVD discs
This disc version contains the Yueju opera film "A Dream of Red Mansion" shot in 1962, starring notable Yueju actress Xu Yulan and Wang Wenjuan, which is regarded as the most influential opera film.
The story was adapted from a famous ancient novel of the same title. The novel is one of China's most famous classical literary works and has been made into films and TV plays several times.
The 1962 Yue Opera version reduces the novel to a love-story between Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu. The story begins with the mother-less child, Lin Daiyu - whose beauty and intelligence surpasses all - moving into her maternal grandmother's family in the capital. There, the child meets numerous relatives, one of whom is Jia Baoyu, her mother's nephew, and the heir of the Jia family. Baoyu was borne with a jade tablet and so, is treated like a fragile egg, and is spoiled by his grandmother. He often spends his time with his female cousins and maids instead of being in his studies. One of the cousins he hangs around with is Xue Baochai. As the story goes on, Baoyu and Daiyu eventually fall in love with each other, but Daiyu is not very well-liked by the family, and instead, the family members favor Baochai.
The stage version covers the original major plots such as: Baoyu and Daiyu read the banned book "West Chamber," Daiyu buries flowers; Daiyu burns her love poems after shocked by the news of Baoyu's marriage; and Baoyu leaves home and becomes a monk after mourning Daiyu's death.