Tue, Aug 21, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company celebrates 15 years with new opera
歌仔戲名家唐美雲 年度新作《燕歌行》

Members of the Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company perform When the Night Has Come in Taipei on June 6.
唐美雲歌仔戲團團員六月六日於台北市演出「碧桃花開」。

Photo: Chen Hui-chen, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者陳慧貞

Since receiving the National Culture and Art Foundation’s National Award for Arts, renowned Taiwanese gezaixi opera singer Tang Mei-yun is currently busy promoting her troupe’s new annual masterpiece — Deathless Beauty. They invited scriptwriter Shih Ju-fang to pen the script, which puts a new twist on the classic anecdotes of the historical figure Cao Pi from the Three Kingdoms period, utilizing the Western theatrical method of adding a fictional character — a ghost — to express the psychological processes of Cao. This is also the first time that composer Lai Teh-ho has ever worked with Tang. Lai has arranged entirely new music for the work, expanding the art form’s palette. People in art and culture circles anxiously await the performance, which will take the stage in early October.

“Everyone knows about Cao Pi’s malicious personality, but they usually neglect what was going through his mind at the time.” Tang says that this is the main theme of the opera, a sense and sensibility look at the world of Cao Pi. “Cao Pi stood guard at the Bronze Sparrow Terrace, where he alone kept vigil over the body of his father Cao Cao, displaying the first signs of his budding political ambitions. Not long after Cao Pi became the ruler of the Cao Wei state, leaving behind his beloved wife.” Cao’s Yan Ge Xing, the first seven syllable per line poem ever written, is forever a gem in Chinese literature.

Tang says that Deathless Beauty is not an attempt to redress any of the miscarriages of justice for Cao, but rather a detailed retelling of his younger brother Cao Zhi’s Nymph of Luo River, and a journey though Cao Pi’s psychological state and literary imagination. The opera does not, however, offer a direct response to the question on the mind of the average audience member regarding the relationship between Cao Pi, Lady Zhen and Cao Zhi.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. neglect v.

忽略;不顧 (hu1 lue4; bu2 gu4)

例: Neglecting the fact that it was snowing, she ran outside in shorts and a t-shirt.

(她不顧外頭下雪,僅穿短褲與短袖圓領運動衫就跑出門了。)

2. ambition n.

野心 (ye3 xin1)

例: You’ll have to put your career ambitions on hold for a while and gain some work experience first.

(你得先累積一些工作經驗,暫緩在事業上的野心。)

3. maiden name n. phr.

閨名 (gui1 ming2)

例: These days more women are keeping their maiden name after they get married.

(當今越來越多女性結婚後保留閨名。)


Coming from a family of gezaixi artists, Tang took her mother’s family name, not because her father did not cherish her, but because she was the youngest of eight brothers and sisters, and her mother wanted to continue her own family’s ancestral lineage, so as the youngest child she was given her mother’s maiden name. “At the time a lot of families sent their children away to be raised by other families. When some of my older sisters were sent away my mom was quite sad, but she also expected her children to have a brighter future because of it.” As her troupe, the Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company, celebrates its 15th year, she says the troupe usually lacks the time to consider so many things at once since there is always a new opera to perform every year, but she still hopes they can teach gezaixi to more people and further popularize the art form in the future. Deathless Beauty will have four performances at the National Theater starting on Oct. 4.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

獲國家文藝獎肯定,歌仔戲名家唐美雲即將推出年度新作《燕歌行》,邀來劇作家施如芳撰寫劇本,把歷史人物曹丕做一個翻轉,並加入西方劇場手法,安置了一個虛擬角色「不死靈」,傳達曹丕的內心世界。除此之外,作曲家賴德和也是首次與唐美雲合作,為該劇編寫新曲,手法開闊,也讓藝文界非常期待十月初的演出。

「大家都只知道曹丕的險惡,卻忽略他的內心世界。」唐美雲說,這次以此為題材,將以知性與感性重探曹丕身世,「曹丕獨自登上銅雀台為曹操守靈,政治野心初萌,後來當家作主,離開摯愛的妻子。最早的一首完整七言詩《燕歌行》也正是曹丕不朽的文學宣言。

唐美雲說,《燕歌行》志不在為曹丕平反,但藉著重設其弟弟曹植《洛神賦》的來龍去脈,追索曹丕心理深度與文學氣韻;至於一般觀眾還是有興趣曹丕、甄宓、曹植的三角關係,戲中仍沒有直接解答。

從小出身歌仔戲世家,唐美雲從母姓,不是因為父親不疼,而是家中連她這個么女共有八個兄姊,母親這一邊也要留香火,才將最小的唐美雲從了母姓,「那個年代,有很多孩子都會送人家養,我姊姊們也是,我媽媽很悲傷,但也期待孩子有好日子過。」成團十五年,唐美雲說她沒有時間多想,每年總有新戲要做,「未來希望多培育歌仔戲人才,可以把歌仔戲發揚光大。」《燕歌行》十月四日將在國家戲劇院連續四場演出。

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