Opera A Civic Yuppie in the Countryside is adapted from the hit TV series of the same name. Focusing on the realistic theme of targeted poverty alleviation, it tells a touching tale of MA Xiangyang, assistant researcher of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, who went to the countryside to be the first secretary and help impoverished villagers.
MA Xiangyang grew up in the Dahuaishu Village and loves his hometown. With enthusiasm and determination to change the poverty and backwardness of his hometown, he returns to the Dahuaishu Village. However, the unenlightened ideology of smallholder farmers, feudal clan forces, village cadres' work mistakes, and the turmoil caused by the debts owed to villagers are very daunting to him and he even wants to beat a retreat. Fortunately, with the inspiration of his great grandmother, he solves entwined problems with his sincerity and wits, and leads villagers to overcome poverty and become rich.
The opera is embedded with distinguishable Shandong style and the imprint of Qingdao. The whole performance consists of six acts and more than 40 arias, including arias with Shandong LYU Opera style, insertion of Shandong Kuaishu, and dialogues in Jiaodong dialect. The "Harlequin", accountant LIANG’s drama-style performance, and an exaggerated interpretation of four rural women who wag their tongues are the major punchlines of the opera.
Stage Director: HUANG Dingshan
Librettists: DAI Lu, LIAN Haiping
Composer: ZANG Yunfei
Music Arr.: REN An
Conductor: HUANG Yanjia
Set Designer: JIN Sa
Lighting Designers: LIU Jianzhong, TIAN Shengwen
Sound Designer: SONG Duoduo
Costume Design Coach: HAN Chunqi
Vocal Coach: WANG Hongbo
MA Xiangyang: LI Zhengze
LI Yunfang: ZHANG Lili
LIU Shirong: ZHANG Xi
LIANG Shouye: SHI Xugang
Great Grandmother: WANG Wenna
LIN Xiaoman: WANG Ning
DING Qiuxiang: LIU Hong
LIU Yubin: LI Lianzhi
Village Women: LI Lei, WANG Qingmei, LIU Lin, YANG Mengnan
Villagers: XIAO Wentong, MA Zhenlong, JIN Yang, WANG Kang
● Key supported opera of "Chinese National Opera Inheritance and Development Project" of the Ministry of Culture in 2017
● Supported opera for the creation of key selected projects for stage art in Shandong Province in 2017
● Participating opera in the 3rd Chinese Opera Festival in 2017
● Rolling supported opera of "Chinese National Opera Inheritance and Development Project" of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2018
● Funded project of China National Arts Fund Projects for Communication, Exchange and Promotion in 2018
● Opening opera for "Chinese Excellent National Opera Exhibition" in 2018
● "Excellent Repertoire Award" of the 11th Shandong Culture and Arts Festival in 2018
● Exemplary Performance of National Excellent Realistic Stage Arts Exhibition in 2018
● Exemplary Performance of "Chinese Excellent National Opera Exhibition Week" in 2019
● Exemplary Performance for “National Outstanding Stage Art Repertoire and Excellent National Opera Exhibition” in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 2019
● The 13th Shandong Province "Excellent Arts Project" Award in 2019
● Awarded opera of the “Wenhua Award” at the 12th China Arts Festival in 2019
The protagonist of the story, MA Xiangyang, assistant researcher at the Academy of Agricultural Sciences, takes the initiative to serve as first secretary in Dahuaishu Village, a remote village, and vows to help villagers get rid of poverty. However, contrary to his expectations, his enthusiasm is ridiculed by the clan power represented by LIU Shirong. LI Yunfang, MA Xiangyang’s childhood friend and current village director, not only doesn't help him, but wants to quit her job. All these daunting problems make him feel exhausted and helpless. Just when he is at a loss, his great grandmother brings him a pancake as her support to the front just like she used to do for the soldiers in the years of wars, along with the expectations and trust of old party members in the village. With the encouragement of his great grandmother, he plucks up the courage and figures out a way to solve problems.
LIU Shirong takes advantage of LI Yunfang's improper decision-making which costs villagers’ 300,000 yuan from a scam, and instigates some villagers to dismiss LI Yunfang from her post. MA Xiangyang cleverly resolves the conflict. With his unremitting efforts, the village starts to have a new look.
One event succeeds another. A local tyrant LIU Yubin who no longer lives in the village wants to purchase the big locust tree, the icon of the village and emotional sustenance of all villagers. MA Xiangyang argues strongly on just grounds and influences LIU Shirong with his practical actions. He protects the big locust tree and brings the villagers’ hearts together. Eventually, the villagers overcome poverty and get to enjoy a good life.