Saturday, September 17, 2005

World of Crooks

No, I'm not describing my surroundings - it's a marvelously entertaining traditional Taiwan opera, and I was lucky enough to attend last night, thanks to a free ticket from one of my English students. Our seats (Kieko went with me) were center stage, fairly close, great view. These seats would have cost us $1280NT ($39US, more than the Wu Bai concert was), so we were very grateful to have them.

Please read the Taipei Times review here:

I think a majority of Westerners would not appreciate the Taiwan style of opera, because the music sounds a bit discordant to the ear that is not accustomed to it, as do the singing voices. It is very stylized, with hand and body gestures that look a little odd, until you get used to it. The spoken parts can be very normal sounding, or very "sing-songy" depending on the actor/actress and the context of the speech. Taiwanese is a language with a lot of nasal "twangy" sounds, and opera language is more exaggerated than normal speech. I loved every bit of it.

Sadly, I do not understand spoken Taiwanese (and written Taiwanese is not easy to understand, either). Although subtitles in Chinese were shown on two screens to the right and left of the stage, I was not able to read much of it, because it was too fast, and I also didn't want to miss the stage action. The costumes were gorgeous, the performances outstanding (Tang Mei-yun was amazing), and I will be sure to return to catch a future performance.

1 comment:

aetherwellen said...

That sounds like a super fun opera! :D