Kunqu - Fan Li and Xi Shi

During the Spring and Autumn Period, Fuchai of Wu (吳王夫差) with the support of Wu Yuan (伍員, also called as 伍子胥) ,the Da Fu (大夫, official title, the counselor of the monarch) of Kingdom Wu (吳國),invaded Yue (越國) to avenge his father's death. Goujian of Yue (越王勾踐) adopted the plan of Fan Li (范蠡), the Da Fu of Yue, and offered the king of Wu the honor of being his vassal and took his wife and ministers with him to serve in Wu. During his three years in Wu, Goujian worked hard with rags and showed his flattery to Fuchai. The king of Wu did not listen to Wu Yuan's advice and pardoned Goujian to return to his hometown. The king of Yue was waiting for a chance to take revenge. Fan Li recommended his fiancee Xi Shi (西施) to use the beauty trick. When they parted, Xi Shi and Fan Li each kept half of gauze which was their love token and urged each other not to forget them. The Fuchai was obsessed by land of warmth and tenderness and ignores Wu's opposition. At this time, Goujian had trained enough troops and prepared enough logistic supply, and he also used a trick to make the Wu State run out of food and send out a division to attack Qi State (齊國). Yue State took the opportunity to invade Wu State, causing Wu to lose, and Fan Li and Xi Shi retired, and have been living in seclusion near the West Lake since then.

The Story of Washing Gauze is the first Kunqu which have a fully scored libretto. However, its repertoire is on the verge of being lost on the stage. In 1993, through the planning of KOO Ti Hua Foundation for the Promotion of KunQu Opera, the Foundation created and adapted the two-fold play Merge the Gauze (合紗) and Sailing (泛舟), which was performed to great acclaim. Later, after eight years of repeated processing and practice, it was extended into a complete opera. Today, it is recorded as a TV art movie to explore the road of reform of Kunqu.

Starring: Hua Wenyi (華文漪), Dr. Koo Ti Hua (顧鐵華博士)


The First Act: Reunion

The Second Act: Adoration

The Third Act: The Token of Love

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