柳毅傳書

儒生柳毅,赴試路經涇水,見一婦人牧羊於野,悲聲哀叫。細問知乃洞庭龍君之女三娘,因嫁涇河王子,受翁姑虐待,夫婿欺凌,求助無門,更因金丹被奪,不能飛奔,景況凄涼。柳毅遇此不平事,願捨棄功名,折返洞庭,為龍女傳書。洞庭龍君,接女書後,正謀對策,其弟錢塘君聞之,怒興問罪之師,殺涇河王子。三娘遂得以返龍宮。三娘感柳毅之恩,亦愛慕其高風亮節,酒席筵前向柳含情敬酒。龍王欲撮合二人婚事,柳毅以傳書出於正義,本無男女私念,故斷然拒婚,三娘黯然送別。柳毅回家後,其母為子說親,毅懷念龍女,竟無一合意。錢塘君得知,命龍女幻化漁家女,自己則化媒說親,柳母喜漁女美麗勤巧,強子成親。洞房之夕,龍女含笑自白,皆大歡喜收場。



Liu Yi Delivers a Letter

As he passes the Jing River while he is on his way to the imperial examination, scholar Liu Yi sees a shepherdess crying her heart out in the open country. The woman, Sanniang, is the daughter of the dragon king of Lake Dongting. After marrying the prince of the Jing River, Sanniang has been constantly abused by her husband and her parents-in-law. Moreover, they have stripped her of her mystical power of flight and left her destitute. Indignant, Liu has decided to give up the examination to deliver a letter disclosing her miseries to her father at Lake Dongting.

 

Having received his daughter’s letter, the dragon king ponders what action to take. Meanwhile, the dragon king’s brother, Qiantang, explodes when he hears what has befallen his niece. Qiantang immediately mounts a war against the prince, who has no remorse for what he has done to his wife, and kills him. After the war, Sanniang reunites with her parents. Grateful to Liu and admiring his noble character, Sanniangoffers a loving toast to Liu at a banquet. The dragon king attempts to unite the two. However, unwilling to be seen as a wife-stealer, Liu rejects her love flat. Disappointed, Sanniang sees Liu off.

 

Back home, Liu’s mother tries to find a match for her son. However, since Sanniang is always on his mind,Liu finds none of the candidates appealing. Learning of this, Qiantang has Sanniang turn herself into a fisherman’s daughter and himself into a matchmaker. Finding the girl pretty and diligent, Liu’s mother prevails upon her son to marry the fisherman’s daughter. On the wedding night, Sanniang triumphantly reveals her true identity, and the opera comes to a happy ending.