Monday, 19 January 2009

CANTONESE OPERA

UPDATE: Here is the video.
video

While shopping at a local mall, I met someone at the restroom. She was in full make up and I requested for a photo. She smiled and said, "come and see me on the stage in my full headgear and costume". She was a singer in the Cantonese Opera, performing in one of the local mall in conjuction with Chinese New Year. The last time I saw one was near my home and they spoke/sang in Hokkien, a Chinese dialect I don't understand and had no idea what the show was about. My mom is Cantonese and we spoke the dialect from birth, so this will be easy and also a first for me to see a Cantonese Opera. Chinese Opera is a dying tradition here and it's not everyday that one gets to see it. Meeting the lead singer in the restroom, strong and bold colours are the norm for opera performers.


Here she is the lead singer in full gear.


In the show seen celebrating New Year with the grandfather.


Obviously the wealthy lady is accompanied by her servant.


The grandfather discussing the possibilities of meeting his good friend, the Ox King..



Well, the Ox King was very impressed with the pretty lady and asked for her hand..

The Ox King said that he is not good looking but he is kind hearted and went all out to woo her. The grandfather tried to persuade her saying that the marriage will be successful as this year is the year of the Ox and the Ox King will bestow lots of love and riches to her.



















Finally, she agreed and the marriage is set, happy ending :D


I found their orchestra really interesting. No fancy equipment, everything was simple, authentic and typical classical Chinese instruments.


A close up of one the instrument, carved in dragon figure.


The stage.


Chinese lanterns hung everywhere.


I wonder if anyone is interested to see and hear this live opera...I'll upload it the next time. The entire mall was well, very red and festive. In fact, everywhere is red, from the malls to the nearby sundry shop, you can't escape this 'yang' and happy colour this time of the year. There were many other pictures, but I thought I'll spare everyone from an overdose of redness.