A Taiwanese gezaixi opera troupe has devoted itself to adapting Goethe’s renowned literary classic Faust for gezaixi, or Taiwanese opera, and are calling the adaptation Kuang Hun (Wild Soul). The piece allows them to tackle diverse subjects in hopes of revamping the art form. The play tells the story of a man who signs a contract with the devil to give his soul in exchange for 24 years to fulfill any desire he has. In thinking of unique ways to represent the original work, this drama has altered the original theme of the Western pursuit of knowledge and the desire to replace God with the individual, and instead narrates a desire to transform oneself into an immortal through spiritual cultivation and devotion, giving the entire plot an Eastern twist.
Sun Shih-pei will play the role of the man making the deal with the devil and who gradually goes insane. Acting out this psychological drama will be quite a challenge for her. Sun will also play the roles of a wise old man, a spiritual practitioner, an affectionate man, and a tyrant. Sun Shih-yung will be simultaneously playing both the devil and an angel. Acting out the rapid switch between these personalities will give her plenty of room to show off her acting skills. The Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Cultural Group’s Chen Chao-ting, daughter of Sun Tsui-feng, who usually plays the main young male roles known as xiaosheng, will play the main female role of Gretchen, and gradually transform a lively bright young princess into a mature older woman. The three of them are actually cousins. The work will let audiences see gezaixi as a new force to be reckoned with.
The Ming Hwa Yuan Arts & Cultural Group will be performing Wild Soul tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Metropolitan Hall in Taipei.
（LIBERTY TIMES, TRANSLATED BY KYLE JEFFCOAT)
Photo: Chen Chien-chih, Taipei Times
1. adapt v.
改編 (gai3 bian1)
例: The author of the novel asked the director if he would like to adapt his work into a play.
2. represent v.
呈現 (cheng2 xian4)
例: Sometimes it is difficult to use words to represent the emotions that humans feel when listening to music.
3. plot n.
劇情 (ju4 qing2)
例: I found the plot banal and lacking any original thought.
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