Lu Yanqiu, son of a general, and Mei Yubing have been engaged to each other before they were born. Mei’s mother died when she was young, and her father remarried; he and his new wife, Zhu, had another daughter, Yanshu. In order to have her own daughter marry the general’s son, Zhu plays a dirty trick onYubing, drugging her drink so that she spits blood during her wedding. Yanshu takes the place of her half sister in the wedding. Yanqiu, however, refuses to accept the unexpected bride and goes out to battle.
The deserted Yanshu cannot stand the loneliness, so she dallies with Liu Shiyuan, son of a high official, when he comes to visit her. Her father finds out about their misconduct and puts Yubing’s book of the Tale of Lucretia at Yanshu’s door as a warning. Yanshu and Liu misunderstand the gesture and think thatYubing knows about their affair. The two send a servant to buy poison to kill Yubing, but Zhu drinks it by mistake. In the face of Zhu’s death, Yanshu and Shiyuan together frame Yubing for her murder. Yanqiureturns victorious and participates in the case hearing. At the court, Mei’s father makes public the adultery between Yanshu and Shiyuan and their story unravels. At long last, Yanqiu and Yubing get married.
* This opera is written by Pan Yifan. It was originally titled as A Poor Woman, and later renamed as Plum Blossoms in Bitter Cold, and is finally titled Story of Lu Yanqiu and Mei Yubing until Wanzhanghong Troupeis formed and the opera is starred by Luo Jianlang and Li Baoying.