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In “Cao Cao’s cruelty” Phan plays the timid and helpless Emperor Xian of the late Han Dynasty, a story taken from “Romance of The Three Kingdoms”. It is a demanding laosheng (older male) role that requires the portrayal of a gamut of emotions including disgust, fear, revulsion and resentment. Emperor Xian was not prepared and fell in the political trap set up by the ambitious Cao Cao who had decided to oust him. Phan managed to bring her rich voice and musical intelligence to a complex role.
This digital copy (c) National Library Board Singapore 2008. The original work (c) Chinese Opera Institute, 2002.