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Premiere of Ninghai Pingtiao opera Ge Hong

Release date:2019-10-12Browse times: Size:[ big middle small ]

Yang Dongbiao, deputy director of Ninghai Cultural Center, cooperates with Ningbo’s another famous playwright Sun Yangfang to produce the Pingtiao opera Ge Hong to extol stories of humans conquering plague.

The opera, starred by young actor Ye Lucheng and actress Lv Yana, makes its debut to the public on Oct 9. As an opera that aims to move people by appealing to their emotions, it does not include the tooth-playing which is very fun to watch and has been listed as China’s intangible heritages. However, the choreography is very special, with four Chinese characters in seal character indicating the process of traditional Chinese medicine hanging high to show that the play is about traditional Chinese medicine. Ninghai dialects can also been heard in the opera. “We have invited some Pingtiao experts to instruct on every sentence sung in the opera.” said a responsible person from Ninghai Pingtiao Art Inheritance Center (NHPAIC).

Ge Hong, produced by NHPAIC, is premiered in Ningbo Yifu Theater at the night of Oct 9. The play, taken from folk stories in Ninghai, is acted in Pingtiao and aims to bring forward Ninghai culture and Ge Hong culture.

The story is set in East Jin dynasty (317-420) when plague was rampant and is about Ge Hong and his wife accidentally finding out the effect of Artemisia that can cure plague when they try to help ordinary people with that disease. Ge Hong signs a life-and-death contract with Ninghai, as he does not care about money and all he wants is that people ca be free from that disease. His behavior is not in the interest of the pharmacy owner Li Yiqin, who then conspires to frame Ge Hong for something…

Yang Dongbiao, one of the scriptwriters of Ge Hong, comes from Ninghai, and he tells us that after controlling plague, Ge Hong and his wife leave their son in Chalu of west Ninghai. Now west Ninghai is home to many Ge families. Moreover, Ge Hong’s story has also inspired the Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou. When receiving the award, Tu said in her speech: “My inspiration was from Ge Hong’s record about Artemisia in The Handbook of Prescriptions for Emergencies… If there had been Nobel Prize in East Jin, Ge Hong, I believe, will be the first Chinese doctor to have this honor.”