Oh my god!!!! Finally I went to watch this Shanghai Pekin Opera at Esplanade title 'The Glorious Zhen Guan Years of Tang Dynasty'. Yah that is a super long name in English but its actually just 4 words in chinese, Zhen Guan Sheng Shi.
There is no words to describe how much i love it. Wow.. The backdrop, the settings, the props, the costumes and best of all the actors and actress. They are FABULOUS! I repeat... Fabulous! I can only say this show is the best Live opera show i have watched so far. Although they are some hiccups int he show, i shall forget about them as the actors really did very well.
Shang Chang Rong: He is in fact the son of the famous Dan actor, Shang Xiao Yun (one of the four great dans). He is refined and natural in his acting. His singing is really good, especially when you hear it live. He adopted the gentle and subtlety of the dan role (i think maybe because his father is a Dan) and the forcefulness of a wusheng in his singing. He is very good in the emotional scenes i think.
Guan Dong Tian: This actor definately has the build to act as an emperor. He is really tall and he made the duke looked like a midget. Hee hee.. In my opnions, i think this emperor is really stylo and suave. He is not handsome but he got the .. style.. So cool! And in the show, he is totally glowing in confidence. Yeah... That is how an emperor should look like, especially Li Shi Min as he is the first emperor of the glorious Tang Dynasty. His singing is good too. Very forceful and like i said, full of confidence. He did the emotional scenes as well as Shang Chang Rong.
Extras: The extra actors and actresses in the show are so good too! Normally people wouldn't notice the extras but i decide that a good troupe should have good extra who do their best despite being an extra. The reactions, the feel and the movements of the extras are so good. They really get into the show and show reactions on their faces to whatever is happening to the main roles. For example: There is a part when the emperor was playing hockey with the Duke. He invited several officials from the western regions to watch their match. The duke lost the match and had to present a treasure to the emperor as a form of a bet. The Duke actually presented a Lady from the Western region as a gift to the emperor. The few western officials face expressions changed, from happy to dismay. Then one of the officials whispered something to another officials and the listening official's face became darker and darker. It is trying to express that the emperor and the duke are too haughty (dunno how to spell that) and they are really upset that a lady from their country is used as a bet for the match.
So you see, even though this scene is totally focusing on the emperor and the duke, the extras did not just stand there and act like wooden blocks. They played their part fully and most importantly naturally. I love watching the extras in such opera shows as I know a real pro troupe will have good extras. :)
Overall, i just simple love the show. Look at the settings!!! the palace and the home of Wei Zheng. Especially the home of Wei Zheng. The stage is so beautifully done up and they changed the backdrops in an amazing speed too. Unlike some troupes that took ages to change the settings. You must see it live to believe it!!!
Chong Sheng love the show too, he told me that he would definitely come to see it again if there is a repeat. I told him i would like to see it again too! I don't mind spending another $45 to watch this show again. It is definitely worth it. DEFINITELY. During the whole show i was watching it with so much concentration that i didn't even blink my eyes fearing that i will miss out some details. Hee hee....
Ok.. Now for the unhappiness that happened during the show. Of course it has got nothing to do with the performers. It's the audience.
I think i will set up some rules here for audience. (Yeah i know i am not in the position to do but just let me do it ok! Shut it.)
1) Late comers should not be entertained!!!!! Damn the people who arrived late at the show last night. Putain.. Some even arrive at scene 2 of the show! how incredible is that. If they really want to see it, then make an effort to come earlier! I was so irritated that for the first 15 minutes after the show started, people kept walking around to find their seats and thus spoiling the my mood. I was already 'into' the show when those freaks come walking down the aisle blocking my mood. #$%#$%... I say, late comers SHOULD NOT be admitted. Damn, the signs outside the theatre says that late comers will not be entertained and they will have to wait for an appropriate moment to enter the theatre, example: intermissions. But hell no, they were let in all the same. Esplanade people should stickt o their words. How can they let these stupid late comers come in? They deserve to miss part of the show because they are late. They should not be admitted! I say all late comers should be left outside the theatre watching the performance through the LCD screens. Yah there are LCDs outside the theater broadcasting whatever is performed inside.
2) People should refrain from anyhow clapping in Pekin Opera. Don't just clap because it is a trend to clap during Pekin Opera performances. You should know when to clap and not clap and shout 'hao' blindly. For the first scene of the show, the audience are simply clapping at every line the main actor is singing. Listen here.. YOU SHOULD ONLY CLAP DURING THE PEAKS. There will normally be a short silence after those peaks meant for audiences to clap. If you watch Pekin Opera often enough you will realise that. Blindly clapping and shouting does not make you an expert in watching opera.
3) People should not hum during performances. We did not pay $45 dollars to hear you hum in the theatre. Damn IT! I want to hear the actor's fabulous singing not your lousy out of tune hummings... If you wanna sing, please do it in the toilet when you shower. Thank you, your family can appreciate your singing. -_-"
I think we should assign some police in the show to keep the order and peace. Those noisy people should be caught and thrown out of the theatre for being such a prat.
4) Foot tapping should be forbiddened especially if you are tapping the chair in front of you. Some people like to tap their feet with the rythm thus causing annoyance to whoever sitting in front. Hello! Can you be more considerate? You are disturbing my mood! Yesterday an old man behind me was tapping his foot on my chair and i turned back to shot him a 'you are irritating me' look. heh.. and he stopped. heh... :D
Sorry dude! No pictures of the show as it is forbidden to bring camera into the theatre, dumbo!
Wah... i can't wait to see tonight's show!!!! I am sure it is good. You guys should watch it. You are missing one good show of your life time. Moreover, it is rare that Esplanade such good troupes. I think the last time Shanghai Pekin Opera troupe came was 2 years ago.
I will blog more about tonight's show!