Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tony Leung and Carina Lau Singing Cantonese Opera

Just saw this video on youtube, featuring Tony Leung and Carina Lau singing Cantonese opera. Alright, their actions may appear awkward and funny, but nevertheless, I think they'd put in quite a lot of effort already. So, enjoy!

Xiamen and Taiwan's Collaborative Gezi Opera "Love of the Butterflies"

This is a major news in the Hokkien (Gezi) opera scene, but apparently nobody has covered this before in English, and so I shall have the honour of doing it.

Taiwan's Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Troupe and Xiamen Municipality Gezi Opera Troupe has signed a contract last year to produce a collaborative performance titled "Love of the Butterflies", which would be staged as the finale for 2009 Cross-straits folk art festival held in Xiamen at the end of this month.

This excerpt here is performed by Xiamen's Zhuang Hairong and Taiwan's Lin Fangyi for CCTV's mid-autumn festival gala not long ago. For those who understand Mandarin or Hokkien, do not be mistaken that this production is a readaptation of "The Butterfly Lovers", although the lyrics did mention the names of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. From what I've researched upon, this production is about the half-century long love story of a pair of Gezi opera practitioners who were separated by the Taiwan straits. Whether or not this production has got any political undertones to it, I'm not sure, but nevertheless I feel this is a major breakthrough for the development of Hokkien opera. No doubt troupes from China had frequently performed in Taiwan and vice versa in recent years, but as far as I can remember, there has never been a case of total collaboration between troupes from both sides of the straits, other than once a few years back whereby Tang Meiyun performed a duet with Huang Juanjuan (also from Xiamen) for a TV concert.

Hopefully there'll be more of such collaborations following this, and who knows, many other new possibilities can spark out of such collaborations, pushing Hokkien opera to greater heights.