'The Lute: Cai Bojie, a Filial Son and a Loyal Official' comes to Ann Arbor April 13

Watch Kunqu-style opera for free at Michigan Theater.

By Sarah M. Parlette - Associated Producer

Watcha free performance of The Lute: Cai Bojie, a Filial Son and a Loyal Official by the Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater of Jiangsu Province. Photo | Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater of Jiangsu Province.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - On April 13, the Suzhou Kunqu Opera Theater, from Jiangsu Province, China, will perform "The Lute: Cai Bojie, a Filial Son and a Loyal Official " at the Michigan Theater.  

Presented by the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, the Kunqu performance, a 600-year-old Chinese art combining opera, drama, singing and dance, will start at 7 p.m. and lasts 2 1/2 hours.  

Telling the story of Cai Bojie and his two wives, the opera follows Bojie’s attempt to gain notoriety, his separation from his parents and first wife and his remarriage. Bojie and his first wife (Woman Zhao) cross paths, and in a dramatic turn, Zhao meets Bojie’s new wife, who wants to know why Bojie never returned to his parents and Zhao.

Originally written around 1340 by Chinese playwright and poet Gao Ming, "The Lute," also known as  " The Story of the Pipa," has been continuously performed by various theaters in China. It finally made its way to the United States in the 1900s. It has been retold and modernized many times over so as to reflect 21st century China.


The performance is free, but an RSVP is required and can be done in advance.

For show rules and a preview of the performance, go to the U-M Confucius Institute event page.

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