In the late Qing Dynasty, Xiang Jiuxiao, a renowned opera performer, devoted his life to the exploration and reform of arts. In the pursuit of the most sacred and sublime art, Xiang keeps the affection for his apprentice Xiaoxia to himself. When the fate of the nation is at stake, the protagonist takes the opportunity of performing for Empress Dowager Cixi to send Emperor Guangxu a classified letter, which is vital to the reform movement. He pays a heavy price for this risk-taking action: Xiaoxia is killed while providing cover for him. In the end, Xiang comes to the lonely grave of Xiaoxia, and performs the opera “communal gathering for celebration”for his lost lover.