Categories

MyLife
Opinions
OnTheNet
Shows
Miscellaneous
RandomKnowledge

Links

My Sister
S & M
Jiangzheng

Yiheng's Photos
Shuquan's Photos
Pei Yee's Photos
Yun Qin's Photos

#!/usr/bin/girl

Archive

February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
November 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009

   

Saturday, June 21, 2008
Cantonese Opera -vvz

As part of the Singapore Arts Festival 2008, the Wuchuan City Cantonese Opera Troupe (广东省吴川市粤剧团) was in town to perform for a few nights. I have never seen a Cantonese opera live and in its entirety before so I decided to attend one of their shows.

Buying the tickets was quite a surreal experience. Everyone in the queue was, on average, 20 years my senior. And they all spoke Cantonese. The Kreta Ayer People's Theatre (my first visit there as well) looked like it was stuck in the 80s. I felt so out of place.

I caught the show on Wednesday (they put up a different show everyday) called 巾帼奇英 (The Magnificent Heroine, something like that). I chose to watch this one because it features a Dao Ma Dan (刀马旦) (female warrior role), which I always thought is really cool.

The story is quite simple. During the Warring States period, the King of Zhao was pursued by enemies and saved by a girl (the protagonist) with exceptional fighting skills, whom he mistook for a fairy.

A month later, the powerful State of Qin organized some sort of military tournament where the loser State has to give up three cities (the States are coerced to take part, probably just an excuse for Qin to grab more land). The King of Zhao sent people to search for an able general to lead his armies and represent his State. If he wins, a high official post awaits. If the champion is female, the King will make her his queen.

The patriotic protagonist 贾无容 (Jia Wurong, name sounds like fake ugliness in Chinese) volunteered but disguised herself as an ugly woman to avoid marrying the King. Needless to say, she won the tournament and the superficial King refused to marry her. She married her childhood sweetheart in the end and the King regretted after he realized that she was the "fairy" he kept thinking of.

Despite the simplistic plot, the show was entertaining throughout its 3.5 hours length. There were some humorous scenes; I especially liked the part where the King complains in detail how each of 贾无容 facial features is ugly. The singing was great and fighting sequences spectacular. I didn't understand most of the singing (my Cantonese only good enough to make out the spoken portions. Here, I must give the gahmen some credit for this sad state of affairs) but fortunately there were subtitles.

For $20, this is a damn good deal. And no one stops me from taking pictures and videos too. Here are some of my better shots.



The main character 贾无容, excellently played by 刀马旦陈诗敏 Chen Shimin. Too bad the pictures I have of her doing the splits and one-leg stand didn't turn out too well.



Here, a materialistic bimbo responds to the call, hoping to become Queen, despite having no skills whatsoever.



贾无容 fights the grand marshall of the Zhao army to prove her worth.



贾无容 returns victorious. The generals of the other States stand in the background.



贾无容 reveals her true appearance after the wedding ceremony that the King himself presided over. He regrets it but it is too late.



贾无容 becomes the god-daughter of the Queen Dowager and sworn siblings with the King.


Here's a short clip of the fighting part, 破阵.


-- permalink --
Yiheng made
5:33 PM

1 Comments:

General comment from my mother was that Cantonese opera troupes from Hong Kong cannot compare with those from mainland China. As such, you nvr chio my mother along lor... lol
By Anonymous wengyi, at 3:25 PM  

Post a Comment


 

   


Previous Posts

Swing Along 2009 -vvv

FF13 -vvx

YGBSM -vvw

Tibetan Song -vvx

Unfortunate Side Effects -vwv

Memorable News -vwv

Five Golden Flowers -vvz

Art Appreciation in Singapore -vvw

Openmindedness -vvx

侠客行

Current Read

七侠五义

Last Three Books

道德經

The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Mythology
Arthur Cotterell, Rachel Storm


Momo
Michael Ende

Those Before

孫子兵法


Paycheck: And Other Classic Stories By
Philip K. Dick


Mirror Mirror: A Novel
Gregory Maguire


American Gods
Neil Gaiman


Maya 5 Fundamentals
Garry Lewis, Jim Lammers


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
J. K. Rowling