Saturday, August 18, 2007

Siong Leng stages Li Ah Sian 李亚仙

On 11 August, 2007, Siong Leng (湘灵) Musical Association made its debut at the Esplanade, fondly known as the Durian by locals (and lewlian kak by the Hokkiens). With two shows on Li Ah Sian 李亚仙 (Li Ya Xian), the cast played to an almost full house. Considering that it is a Hokkien (minnan hua) opera, it was a huge success, with the show attracting people of all ages, and even many foreigners, including students in the local international schools.

A popular Hokkien opera piece known to my mother's generation (she's in her 70s), this is quite new to the younger generations, especially to those who have less exposure to the Hokkien dialect and its culture. Hence, this show by Siong Leng and Esplanade has added another dimension in the local culture scene.

To the talented young cast, well done and we look forward to another show at the Durian, soon. (^^)
Siong Leng is also well known locally for its Nan Yin concerts. You can read and view some of the clips from Chinatownology website.

[Ack: Esplanade and Siong Leng]

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shanghai YUE Opera is in town - 22-23Jun07 at Victoria Theatre

For Opera lovers, the Shanghai YUE Opera is in town. Organised and performed by Marine Parade Community Centre Shanghai Yue Opera Club with two artistes from Shanghai, once again, the club is performing this two-day Opera to raise funds for Food-from-the-Heart.

Nothing like enjoying an opera and contributing towards good cause supporting Food-from-the-Heart.

Tickets at S$20 and S$30, or donation tickets are available. Call Ain at 62597176.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Shanghai YUE Opera is coming to town on 22-23June

On June 22 and June 23, the Marine Parade CC Shanghai Yue Opera Appreciation Club is organising the Shanghai Yue Opera Charity Nights to help Food from the Heart raise funds.

The highlight of the show will be 2 famous stars from Shanghai, Ms Hua Yi-Qing and Ms Huang Hui, who together with members of the Marine Parade CC Shanghai Yue Opera Appreciation Club will perform in this year's Opera.

Due to a very successful production in 2006, the Club has decided to put together another very exciting performance this year presenting a full-length opera "The Legend of Song Hong".

This is a historical epic based on events that happened during the end of Eastern Han Dynasty and the beginning of Western Han Dynasty. It is a heart-warming story about the virtues of Song Hong, a premier who served under Emperor Liu Xiu, founder of Western Han Dynasty.

This year’s performance will be even greater than last year's, as the Club will be having a Director from China to direct the show. There will also be brand new costumes from Shanghai.

Watch out for more details! The Opera will be at Victoria Theatre

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Nan Yin at Tian Hock Keng

It's Guan Yin's birthday today (2M19) and Hokkien Huay Kuan with Siong Leng Nan Yin group staged a Nan Yin concert in front of the Hokkien Huay Kuan building with the Tian Hock Keng opened for worship.

By 8pm, almost all the seats were filled up and some spare chairs were being placed.

For this concert, the troupe spared no efforts in getting the performers to dress in Tang Dynasty dresses - wow, they looked good, especially on the ladies!

The first song was in dedication to Guan Yin, singing praise of Guan Yin and telling about the three importants dates of celebration in honour of Guan Yin, 2M19, 6M19 and 9M19 (in lunar calendar, month-date)

This night was a night of the younger generation. The older members only performed on the first song dedicated to Guan Yin. The younger ones took over from there with the songs, ensemble and even one with a dance, all very beautifully cheorographed.

Thanks to Kevin Ang, he has produced an English edition pamphlet explaining about Nan Yin and Tian Hock Keng. I hope to be able to get his copy in pdf so that you could also download to read. In the next performance, perhaps, a similar copy in different languages could be made available in the internet.

An ancient song and music, an ancient language - the origin of Tang and the Hokkiens - have been preserved and today, thanks to the dedication of the Siong Leng Musical Association, we get to enjoy what our grandparents have been enjoying in the early years in Singapore.

See you there on 6M19? 1st August 2007. Bookmark in your diary!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Kim Eng Teochew Opera's Last Curtain Call

On 11 Feb 2007, it could well be the last performance by Kim Eng Teochew Opera at Defu Lane. Being the oldest Teochew Opera in Singapore, it has seen it great days. With the current trend of less people speaking Teochew, a southern Chinese dialect, there are less people watching the opera.

Kim Eng performing at the Qi Tian Gong celebration at Tiong Bahru

With the closing of the Kim Eng Teochew Opera, the Chinese temple celebrations in Singapore will have one less Teochew Opera to perform. Many fans of Teochew Operas will miss this opera.

The members of the opera may resurface with a smaller puppet troupe.

Teochew Puppet Show

Last Sunday, I had the good fortune of visiting Loyang Tua Pek Kong and watch this Teochew Puppet Show.

This is the first time I saw the puppet show with the puppets being handled by wires and bamboo handles.