Opera Prince Zhao huang （赵志刚）as Yue Minister
Fan Li (范蠡) in Opera Jade Flying Phoenix (玉飞凤)
In China's opera stage, there are three princes. It is not
because they are the sons of kings, but because they are
the popular idols of their fans. Simply put, they are not
promoted to the princehood by a small group of people from
an inner power circle, but endorsed by the audience due to
their outstanding performance.
The three opera princes are good friends, both off stage
and on stage. In 2007, the trio created a cocktail-style
opera mixed with Yueju, Xiju and Kunqu.
The drama is about a political struggle between two kingdoms
in ancient South Yangtze region, one called Yue Kingdom seated
in Hangzhou, and another known as Wu Kingdom with its capital
in Suzhou. In the Yue Kingdom, there was an aspirational
minister named Fan Li, who wisely developed the economy not
based on property market but silk production, sword
manufacture and rice grow and he passionately taught
people to sing spiritually uplifting folk songs and to do
physical exercise by dancing, which was how he met his sweetheart
Xi Shi, (西施), a dance expert and one of the four most beautiful
women in Chinese history (as legend goes).
Opera Prince Zhou Dongliang （周东亮）as Fan Li
(范蠡) in Opera Jade Flying Phoenix (玉飞凤)
But the kingdom of Hangzhou was lost to the kingdom of Suzhou,
and the Hangzhou king was imprisoned by the Suzhou king with
Yue court officials either turned
to serve the new lord or fled into the wildness. Except
Fan Li. He was determined to bring the Yue Kingdom back from
the ashes, even that would cost him his life. And he was
not along. Xi Shi was determined to help him, even that would
ruin her reputation.
Thus the couple rose to action. Fan Li applied for the job
of political consultant to Suzhou King, and through him,
Xi Shi applied for the job of personal assistant to Suzhou
King, looking after his bedroom.
With their good qualifications, both got the positions they
wanted. And the king was particularly impressed with Xi
Shi's remarkable visual presentation therefore rewarded himself
with a long holiday, watching Xi Shi dancing in his bedroom
and his inner garden all the day.
Opera Prince Zhang Jun (张军) as Fan Li (范蠡)
in Opera Jade Flying Phoenix (玉飞凤)
The visual power of the female 007 proved
to be deadly and fatal to the head of Wu state. Suzhou king
eventually lost his kingdom and his life, while Hangzhou
king returned to his throne.
After this seemingly impossible mission was accomplished,
Fan Li and Xi Shi decided to quit politics and live their
lives as humble fisherman and fisherwoman while practicing