The Moon was in Tears

“The Moon Was in Tears” is the annual production of Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe in 2021 and also included in the “202021 Taiwan Traditional Theatre Festival. “ The first collaboration of Yi-Shin and playwright Zhao Xue-jun created the heart-breaking sequel of White Snake – “Thousand Years,“ their second time working together in 2021 creating a story taking us back to the famous “Jing-Kang Humiliation” in history. From a unique and new perspective, the story is about the deconstruction of the twists and turns between Yue Fei and Emperor Ko, Zhao Gou, while the storyline of Princess Rou-Fu is woven into it. Together, we have the “Moon Was in Tears” that even heaven sheds tears. After the COVID-19 pandemic, Yi-Shin Taiwanese Opera Troupe invited the promising director, Li Yi-xiu, to direct the show, hopefully, to bring a new experience of traditional Chinese theater to the audience and lead a new trend for Taiwanese opera. In addition to that, the special guest stars, Ms. Xu Xiu-nian, winner of the special prize for the Golden Melody Awards for Traditional Arts and Music, and Ms. Gao Yu-shan, winner of the “Best Female Supporting Actor “ for the Golden Bell Awards, play, respectively, Emperor Kao’s birth mother, Concubine Wei, and Jin-shan, who witnessed the entire event. The two divas finally met on stage again thirty years later. It does trigger memories of the countless audience.

It’s the night of a full moon again. I still remember that night, and the moon was as clear and bright as it is now. The silver moonlight seems to shed tears. Looking at the moon, Jin-Shan can’t help but feel blue and recall the past …


In the first year of Jing-Kang, Song Dynasty, the Jurchen armies conquered Bian-Jing. The emperor’s father, Huizong, and the emperor, Qinzong of the Song Dynasty, were abducted by the Jurchen people. It is called the “Jing-Kang Humiliation” in history. While negotiating for peace, the Jurchen asked the Song to pay one million dollars in gold and five million dollars in silver. The Song imperial court couldn’t afford it. They had no choice but to price their imperial concubines, princesses, and daughters of their officials and deliver them to the Jurchen as reparations. Prince Kang’s birth mother, Noble Consort Wei, and younger sister Rou-Fu weren’t lucky enough to escape the tragedy. How badly and wrongfully they were treated by the Jurchen people was beyond imagination. One of the many children of Huizong, and the younger brother of Qinzong, Zhao Gou, Prince Kang, took the throne in Nan-Jing as Emperor Ko. Yue Fei, at that time, was just a general under Wang Yan. During a war expedition, Yue Fei and Wang Yan had different opinions about whether to attack or not. Yue Fei, who deployed troops with skills, decided to defy his superior Wang’s order. As a result, he not only defeated fifty thousand Jurchen armies with only seven thousand armies of his own but also saved Princess Rou-Fu. Jin-Shan came back to the capital city with Princess Rou-Fu. The two depended on and took care of each other on the way back. They were like sisters.


However, Emperor Ko, who had many sisters, couldn’t tell if Rou-Fu was his younger sister. He had no choice but to ask for the old imperial servants to identify her; on the other hand, Emperor Ko couldn’t help but get suspicious about why Rou-Fu managed to return, but his mother, Noble Consort Wei, couldn’t. He was also deeply troubled by Yue Fei’s determination to retake the lost territories and welcome Huizong and Qinzong. He was puzzled why people didn’t give him credit for leading a peaceful life because of his efforts. Why do people support Yue Fei enthusiastically to go on the northern expedition? If his father and brother returned, he would not have a foothold in the imperial court. Everything made him feel as if he was on pins and needles.


Princess Ruo-Fu received the title of Princess Fu-Guo, and His Highness appointed the high-ranking official, Gao Shi-rong, as her Prince Consort. The two loved and respected each other after getting married. Both of them were deeply worried about Yue Fei’s recklessness but did not know how to talk him down. Yet, we already know what was coming for Yue Fei from history. Emperor Ko finally welcomed his birth mother, Noble Consort Wei, home during the peace negotiation. Yet, Empress Dowager, after returning, claimed that Rou-Fu died in the Jin Kingdom long ago. The princess who stood before her was, in fact, a nun…

It’s the night of a full moon again. I still remember that night, and the moon was as clear and bright as it is now. The silver moonlight seems to shed tears. Looking at the moon, Jin-Shan can’t help but feel blue and recall the past …

Sponsor(s)
National Culture and Arts Foundation

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