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Di Nü Hua is a Chinese fictional story about Princess Changping of Ming Dynasty and her husband/lover Zhou Shixian. First (original) version was a Kunqu script written in Qing Dynasty while the second version was a first Cantonese opera from early 1900s later found in Japan and Shanghai. Little information is available from this early 1900s version. The contemporary popular version, not meant to be historically accurate, comes from the second Cantonese opera script.

Di Nü Hua

They meet and get engaged, with the blessing of parents. Her father, the emperor, is overthrown by revolutionists. She hides as a nun in a monastery but meets Zhou again. Being found by the new regime, she follows Zhou's plan to commit suicide eventually. Zhou formulates a plan to make sure the late emperor, her father, properly buried while her little brother released to safety. Zhou alone returns to negotiate with the new regime using the bargaining power vested in him by a written request from her. Once the new regime makes good on these promises, the couple return to her former home for a wedding ceremony. They take poison at wedding night in the palace garden where they are introduced to each other as potential marriage candidate on day one.



Based on the Kunqu version and other publications, Playwright Tang Ti-sheng adaptation of this into a Cantonese opera script debuted in the Lee Theatre on 7 June 1957. Actresses Yam Kim Fai and Bak Sheut Sin were the original cast of leading roles and they played these roles last in 1970.

October 2007, Yuen Siu Fai, as the Princess's father in [1]2006/7 performances in Hong Kong and Macau (40 total) schooled one academic on radio. October 2007 talk show, retrospective in nature, on radio[2] is available online (in Cantonese). Translation: This title has become this popular today is mostly by word of mouth since the mid-1960s being staged at Kai De Amusement Park Cantonese Opera Theatre and the performances of Chor Fung Ming throughout 1970s and 1980s in newly developed satellite cities and towns were very well received. The role of male lead is extremely heavy by design and demonstrates the ‘masculine’ traits of Yam style (eg. Chinese: 走鑼邊花). The more organic actors/actresses in this role would find it more emotionally demanding. It was non-stop and exhausting after intermission.[3]

While most well-known works of Tang cater to the female leads, this is an exception. The importance of Zhou Shixian, instead of the Princess, in this 1957 version is also unique compared to other versions such as Eternal Regret of Dynasty Ming (Chinese: 《明末遺恨》) and How Jing-ngo Slew the Tiger (Chinese: 《貞娥刺虎》),[4] both of Peking opera.

Loong Kim Sang 2019Edit

To commemorate 30 years since the passing of her mentor Yam Kim Fai.

Peking opera 2018Edit

According to Yu Kuizhi, this production was inspired by the (late 2006 to early 2007) [1]performances on stage, Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong.

Yu talked specifically how much the 2006 performance of Loong Kim Sang impressed him and addressed Loong as sensei (meaning accomplished, to show respect to someone who has achieved a certain level of mastery in an art form or some other skill) throughout that event.


Film starring some of the Cantonese opera original cast was released in 1959 while the album of full 4-hour stage version was released in 1960. In 1976, the film titled Princess Chang Ping was directed by John Woo, starring the Chor Fung Ming (Young Phoenix) Cantonese Opera Troupe along Leung Sing Bor and Lang Chi Bak. Live recording of stage performance[5] by Chor Fung Ming (Young Phoenix)[6] Cantonese Opera Troupe in December 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of debut is also available in DVD/CD.


TV stations, in Hong Kong as well as Taiwan, have a few productions, sometimes renamed, relating to the 1957 version. In 1981, ATV Home adapted the play into a television drama titled Princess Cheung Ping (Chinese: 武侠帝女花), in a wuxia setting, starring Damian Lau, Michelle Yim and David Chiang. In 2003, TVB produced Perish in the Name of Love, a television series loosely based on the original play. Steven Ma and Charmaine Sheh starred in the leading roles.



  1. ^ a b The University of Hong Kong, Culture & Humanities Fund, Fundraising Event (part of the close to HK$18 millions raised within two years) "Princess Changping" Gala Performance on 9 December 2006, Lyric Theatre, The Hong Kong Academy Of Performing Arts
  2. ^ (in Chinese) 2007年十月推出全新節目「細說帝女花」第1-10集,Yuen Siu Fai 阮兆輝指出,《帝女花》自仙鳳鳴公演後,被眾多小戲班帶出來在「遊樂場仔」演出,漸被更多觀眾認識,但以這樣文雅而有深度的一齣劇,之所以進入全城的意識範圍,則有賴七、八十年代大紅大紫的雛鳳鳴劇團把戲帶落鄉演出,而所謂落鄉的「鄉」,在其時已漸漸變成「都市」。...指出愈是有本領的演員,演這齣戲則愈能真正感受劇力,故演得更辛苦,並舉出戲中的張力為例...。(第3-4集) - '戲擔人'
  3. ^ Some transcript (in Chinese)
  4. ^ How Zhen E Slew the Tiger (1960) at the Hong Kong Movie DataBase
  5. ^ 2010-06-15 Chinese - 戲曲視窗:粵劇導演不懂粵劇
  6. ^ Yam Kim Fai Biography and train new talent with Chufengming (Young Phoenix) Opera Troupe or Chinese - 雛鳳鳴劇團

External linksEdit