Wei Tuo

183 Beijing Operas - Wei Tuo - Number 269

Wei Tuo

Beijing Opera - "The Cloud Bowl"

Wei Tuo with a golden fairy face has a role in the opera "The Cloud Bowl." adapted from "The Legend of Leifeng Pagoda." A white snake and a green snake, tired of practicing meditation on the Emei Mountains, transform themselves into two girls called Suzhen ("White Maid") and Xiao Qing. They go to beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou and there they meet a young man called Xu Xian. Bai Suzhen and Xu Xian fall in love and are married. They take up residence at the home of Xu Xian's brother-in-law, where Bai gives birth to a child. Their happiness, however, is cut short by Fahai, a wicked abbot of the Jinshan Temple, who comes along with Wei Tuo, a supernatural guardian of the Buddhist law. They insist that the couple's hour of parting has come and what fate has ordained cannot be reversed. They clasp Bai Suzhen in a magic alms bowl and imprisons her under Leifeng pagoda.

"The Legend of Leifeng Pagoda," a play of the Qing dynasty, is based on a folk tale about a white snake transformed into a girl, who becomes an example of loyalty (to her true love), courage (in resisting feudal oppression), and self-sacrifice. Fahai the abbot exemplifies the evils of feudalism

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