The height of artistic brilliance is often accompanied by the saddest of lives when the curtain falls.
“Like Mozart and Schubert, Lee Tai-hsiang’s (李泰祥) life has been marked with such beauty and sadness,” Mel Yang (楊忠衡), producer and playwright of The Dreamy Fallacy, said at a rehearsal on Saturday last week.
The debut production by Taoyuan-based Quanta Theater (廣藝劇場) will be performed at Zhongshan Hall’s Zhongzheng Auditorium (中山堂中正廳) in Taipei starting tonight. The musical weaves together 29 Taiwanese poems and 29 classic songs by composer Lee, recounting a story about the pursuit of love and dreams. Directed by Wu Jin-tao (伍錦濤), the production stars pop songstress Christine Hsu (許景淳), theater veteran Hung Jui-hsiang (洪瑞襄) and musical actor Yeh Wen-hao (葉文豪).
Born in Taitung, Lee spent the early 1970s serving as conductor of the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra and composing opera and chamber music. He later ventured into popular music and became a legend in the late 1970s folk song era, penning a long string of pop classics including The Olive Tree (橄欖樹), Smiling Face (歡顏) and Farewell (告別). Lee’s poetic, celestially elegant songs evoke an era when love was more innocent and idealistic. In 1987, Lee also composed and produced Chess (棋王), Taiwan’s first large-scale musical.
The Aboriginal maestro has suffered from Parkinson’s disease for more than 20 years.
“I used Lee’s songs to interpret his life and then vice versa. It’s remarkable how frequent his earlier songs would predict his later life events,” Yang said. “But ultimately, this musical is not his biography. I decided to convey the essences of his life only and make it a tale of the life of a musician.”
What: The Dreamy Fallacy (美麗的錯誤)
When: Today at 7:30pm, tomorrow at 2:30pm and 7:30pm, and Sunday at 2:30pm
Where: Zhongshan Hall’s Zhongzheng Auditorium (中山堂中正廳), 98 Yenping S Rd, Taipei City (台北市延平南路98號)
Admission: Tickets are NT$500 to NT$2,000, available through NTCH ticketing and 7-Eleven ibon kiosks
On the net: www.qaf.org.tw; tinyurl.com/3ufsms5
Pop songstress Christine Hsu (許景淳), who is a protege of Lee, plays the leading female role in the production. She performs five songs including the opening song, The Olive Tree, and the finale, You Are All My Memories (你是我所有的回憶).
“This production has very little dialogue and probably the highest density of songs a musical can have,” director Wu said. “The plot is unrealistic and abstract. We want audiences to find their own memories in the songs.”