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presents Ibsen's "The Lady from the Sea" & "Hedda"

Lewis Center for the Arts’ Performance Central will present China’s Hangzhou Yue Opera Company in its internationally celebrated operatic adaptations of Henrik Ibsen’s, The Lady from the Sea and Hedda Gabler on Tuesday, March 4 at Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus.  The Lady from the Sea will be performed at 3:00 p.m. and Hedda at 8:00 p.m. in Chinese with English supertitles.  Tickets are free and can be reserved through University Ticketing at 609.258.9220 and will be available at the door prior to each performance.

Yue opera, performed by an all-female ensemble, is one of the most popular forms of traditional Chinese opera.  The form originated in the Zhejiang province of China as storytelling and ballad singing, evolving into a theatrical genre with the addition of dramatic structure and an orchestra.  The Hangzhou Yue Opera Company itself was founded over 50 years ago and has performed widely throughout China and internationally in over 100 different operatic works based on and inspired by traditional stories, modern drama, film and television.

two female actresses
A scene from Hangzhou Yue Opera Company’s production of "The Lady from the Sea" based on Ibsen’s play. Photo courtesy Hangzhou Yue Opera Co.

These two operatic interpretations were created in collaboration with Ibsen International, a Norwegian organization that implements collaborative projects inspired by Henrik Ibsen’s works, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The Lady from the Sea is set in China’s Ming dynasty and chronicles a woman’s difficult decision of whether to remain with her husband or abandon him when her long-lost love returns.  Directed by Zhan Min, this adaptation is by William Huizhu Sun and Faye Chunfang Fei.

Hedda, or Aspiration Sky High, based on Hedda Gabler, is set in ancient China, but much of Ibsen’s classic plot remains.  A highly intelligent woman who has wed for practicality rather than love allows her jealousy to lead her down a path to tragedy.   The iconic character of Hedda is often referred to as the female Hamlet.  Directed by Zhi Tao and Zhan Min, this operatic adaptation is by William Huizhu Sun, Faye Chunfang Fei and Lv Lingzhi.  Hedda was part of the 2006 gala performance inaugurating the Ibsen Year in Norway, when the actresses of the company were presented to the King and Queen.  That year the opera was part of the Ibsen Festival and the Fourth Beijing International Theatre Festival.

Following each performance a talk back will be led in English by Faye Chunfang Fei, a professor at East China Normal University and Director of the Confucius Institute at the China Institute in New York, and William Huizhu Sun, a professor at the Shanghai Theatre Academy and Consortium Editor of The Drama Review.


Link to photos:
Photo caption 1:  The character of Hedda from Hangzhou Yue Opera Company’s production of Hedda
Photo caption 2:  A scene from Hangzhou Yue Opera Company’s production of The Lady from the Sea based on Ibsen’s play.
Photo credits:  Photos courtesy of Hangzhou Yue Opera Company

Event Information


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3:00 p.m. • The Lady from the Sea

8:00 p.m. • Hedda

Richardson Auditorium in Alexander Hall
Princeton University

Admission is FREE but tickets are required. Call University Ticketing at 609.258.9220. Tickets also available at the door.

Production photo from "Hedda." Photo courtesy Hangzhou Yue Opera Co.

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