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Hongyang Cave

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Period: late Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Medium: ink and color on silk
Format: album leaf

Dimensions: 56 x 56 cm

Also known as <i>Meng Liang Stealing the Bones</i>, the opera tells the story of Meng Liang, who, under the order of Yang Yanzhao, goes to the Hongyang Cave at the territories occupied by the Liao regime in order to steal the bones of Yang's father. Jiao Zan secretly followed him to offer help. In the complete dark in the cave, Meng becomes aware that he is followed by someone whom he considers to be an enemy. Only after he kills the "enemy" does he realize the person's true identity. With deep dismay and regret, he commits suicide outside the cave after arranging the bones to be brought back to Song territory. Upon hearing the grievous news, Yang Yanzhao falls ill and dies of the bereavement. This opera was adopted into different styles of traditional opera, including the Beijing Opera, the Qin-style opera, and Han style opera.

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